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Photo: A screenshot from RÚV. Border testing drills at Keflavík Airport, 2020..

New Strain of COVID-19 Identified

A strain of COVID-19 that has not previously been found in Iceland was identified in a sample taken this weekend, RÚV reports.

Two cases of community infection were diagnosed on Friday. Neither of the infected individuals had been abroad recently. deCode Genetics conducted sequencing on the samples taken from the people in question and discovered a strain of COVID-19 that has not been found in the country before.

Three community infections were diagnosed on Saturday and two cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed at the border. It is not yet known if the border cases are active or old infections. One of the community infections was discovered at the ReyCup International Football Festival; this person is now in isolation, as well as those that they interacted with at the sporting event. Sixteen people who were otherwise in close contact with the infected individual have also been placed in quarantine. The origin of this infection has not yet been identified, but contact tracing is in progress.

Another of Saturday’s community infections—the person who has been diagnosed with the strain of COVID-19 that has not been seen in Iceland before—has been connected to one of those that were diagnosed on Friday. Contact tracing has been completed in this instance: one person has been placed in isolation and twelve in quarantine.

The third of Saturday’s infections, which was diagnosed in Southwest Iceland, has been traced to an individual who returned to the country on July 15. The individual has been placed in isolation and six people who were in close contact with them are now under quarantine. These individuals were also tested for the virus themselves and two are showing active symptoms of the virus.

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