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Concern as COVID-19 infection rate rises again

16.09.2020 - 16:30
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 Mynd: RÚV
13 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 domestically within Iceland yesterday and only one of them was already in quarantine. It was the highest number of domestic infections since 6th August. Two active cases were also discovered yesterday in border testing. A total of 1,150 samples were taken.

As of today, one person is in hospital with the coronavirus, and 75 are in isolation; including 55 who were diagnosed as domestic cases.

Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says he is worried at how many of the latest new cases are among people outside of quarantine. 

“Most of these cases were such that thy do not have connections to known cases, which could mean that the distribution of the virus might be wider than we thought, and that brings a certain amount of worry,” Þórólfur said today. 

Þórólfur went on to remind people of the importance of personal contagion protection, and for people with any symptoms to not go to work. “There are perhaps some indications that people are not being so careful. This virus is quick to pounce if we don’t take care.” 

While the number of cases remains a lot lower now during the second wave of the virus in Iceland, it has already lasted longer than the first wave this spring. Yesterday was the highest number of new cases since the second wave was at its peak around the Verslunarmannahelgi holiday weekend in early August. 

All of the cases yesterday were in the capital region. deCODE genetics is preparing to re-start its programme of random testing by invite. This is done to see whether the virus is spreading more widely in society than already established.

Separately to this, all deCODE genetics staff were today tested fro the virus after a student working in the company's headquarters was diagnosed positive. All staff working on the same floor as the student were tested yesterday. The student has not been at deCODE HQ since Thursday, so the company is confident any infection will be picked up by testing today and yesterday.

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