“Clear signs” the virus is growing again
He says contact tracing is going well, though there are cases where the route of infection remains a mystery. “That is worrying and an indication that the virus is still out in society and that people need to be especially careful.”
It is alarming to see the infection rate growing again while Iceland remains under the strictest restrictions it has seen during the pandemic to date. “And it’s not even December yet,” Rögnvaldur says.
Consequences of the weekend
Rögnvaldur believes many new cases can be traced to people meeting friends and relatives last weekend. The civil protection agency is particularly worried that people are running out of steam and believe the pandemic is almost over.
“One understands that. It’s very human for people to look to the positive,” he says—adding that Christmas preparations need to be different this year and social gatherings put to one side.
Rögnvaldur points out that the virus is not only spread at parties, but also at small gatherings of friends and family. It is important for people to avoid all sorts of group contact now, whether in private homes or elsewhere.
The infections being seen in recent days can be traced to specific groups and are not an indication of widespread infection in society at this time.
“While this virus is out there, it will find a way. And it is quick to gain a foothold when people meet. If there are as many social gatherings on the agenda this weekend as last weekend, then this is going to carry on, that’s just the way it is," Rögnvaldur concludes.
The national contact tracing team has been expanded with more staff again because of the worsening situation.