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COVID-19 picture changing rapidly

29.07.2021 - 12:18
Mynd: Grímur Jón Sigurðsson / RÚV
Iceland is dealing with its fourth wave of coronavirus infections and the picture continues to change rapidly. Here is a summary of the latest news:
  • Women more than 12 weeks pregnant started being vaccinated in Reykjavík this morning and will all have been invited before the end of the day. The decision to vaccinate pregnant women came in light of the latest wave of infection, and also following research indicating the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe for use. One woman was arrested this morning for a loud protest at the vaccination centre. The woman scuffled with health workers and resisted arrest, while shouting that the government is murdering unborn babies. Expectant mothers in the queue were visibly upset, some cried, but few, if any, left. 
  • Heilsugæslan, the capital region healthcare provider, is struggling to cope with demand for covid testing at the moment and is calling for new testing staff at Suðurlandsbraut and Keflavík International Airport. New staff will be fully trained and do not need any previous medical experience or training. Over 5,000 tests were processed in Iceland yesterday alone.
  •  Iceland requires pre-departure testing before people travel to the country, but Icelandair has confirmed it will not refuse Icelanders without certificates to board its planes. Instead they will be warned that border agents are likely to fine them up to 100,000 krónur upon arrival. Foreign passengers will, however, be denied boarding if they do not have the required negative test certificate. 
  • Teachers in Iceland who received the single dose Janssen vaccine are to be offered a follow-up Pfizer or Moderna shot before the new school year begins in August. 
  • For the first time since the spring, Iceland is no longer green on the pan-European infection map. The country has been downgraded to yellow, based on infection figures from 12-25 July. Based on infection figures from just the past four days, it already seems highly likely Iceland will be red on the next map.
  • 118 new COVID-19 cases were uncovered domestically yesterday, including 67 who were outside of quarantine. 80 of the patients were fully vaccinated and four were half-vaccinated. 2,508 people are now in quarantine and 966 in isolation with active infection. Of these, ten are in hospital, including two in intensive care. The 14-day infection rate per 100,000 people now stands at 249—up from 85.4 a week ago, and 8.2 two weeks ago. 

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