A group infection centred in the West Iceland town of Akranes led to extensive, random local testing on Saturday, RÚV reports. Happily, all 612 people who were tested returned negative results, indicating that the infection has not spread as extensively as was originally feared.
There are currently two active group infections in Iceland: one in Akranes, and one in Akureyri, in North Iceland. In Akranes, seven coworkers were diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as three of their family members. It is not currently known where this infection started. The random sampling in Akranes on Sunday was conducted by deCode Genetics in order to determine how far the infection had spread within the town. Authorities originally hoped to test 450 residents, but locals were quick to cooperate, meaning that an additional 162 samples could be taken – roughly 10% of the town’s population.
There are currently two people in isolation and 35 people in quarantine in and around Akureyri. Two of those who have active COVID-19 infections and 28 of those under quarantine are residents of the town. These new infections have not yet been traced, so it is currently not known if they are related.
One of the individuals in isolation in Akureyri is a tourist who arrived in the country earlier this week. The man tested negative for the virus at the border, but then showed symptoms after his arrival and a second test revealed that he had an active infection. The three members of his family with whom he was travelling are also in isolation with him in the quarantine hotel in Akureyri, where they will all remain for two weeks. The tourist’s family members do not, however, have the virus.
Thirteen community infections were diagnosed on Saturday, and one at the border, although it is uncertain as of yet if that individual has an active or old infection. At time of writing, 72 individuals are in isolation, 569 are in quarantine, and one person is hospitalised, although not in intensive care.