Statement from the Crises Authorities in Vestmannaeyjar | Tígull.is - Fréttir og viðburðir í Vestmannaeyjum
Tói Vídó

Statement from the Crises Authorities in Vestmannaeyjar

22.03.2020

Summary and state of play

In accordance to the news and annoucements for the past days, several COVID-19 incidents have been diagnosed in Vestmannaeyjar in the recent days. In almost all of the cases the infections can be traced to Sport games in Reykjavik that the islanders attended as spectators or players and direct infections related to the individuals in question. It is very important to mitigate the outbreak before it increases further, and as people have witnessed, various temporary measures have been taken by the resective authorites in Vestmannaeyjar lately, including temaporarily closure of the Kindergarden Soli, due to an infection by one of it´s employees, temporary short-term quarantine (1-3 days) of a whole class of the elementary school (Grunnskóli Vestmannaeyjar, hereafter GRV), due to possible connection to the particular person, temporary closure of the Sport Center due to an infected employee and temporary short-term quarantine of students in year 1 to 4 of  GRV as one of the teachers of the school was infected. 

Illnesss of children within year 7 of  GRV have been unusually high and also among those who are related to these children in other classes. Because of this, it was decided to put all of these students and related staff on a temporary short-term quarantine during the evaluation of the situation. Samples have been taken of several of the students involved and some of their family members which showed suspicious symptoms. All specimens have been assessed and all were negative. Hence, no samples showed indications of the Covid-19 virus. Therefore, today (Sunday) the temporary short-term quarantine of the students in the 7th grade, will be lifted and also for the staff who has not been ordered to a temporary quarantine for other reasons.

On Friday, it was confirmed that one of the teachers in GRV was diagnosed with the virus. Similar protocol was activated, whereas students and staff in year 1 to 4  in GRV and selected staff of Hamarsskóli were ordered on a temporarily short-term quarantine until today (Sunday) during an assessment of the situation by the repsective authorites. The evalutaion is going well but is not finished. Still it is expected that students will not have to undergo long-term quarantine (14 days). However, several staff members will need to take long-term quarantine up to 14 days from the recognised exposure. Therefore, the end dates of the quarantine will vary between those who have been ordered to quarantine.

All students in year 1 to 4  and their teachers are in short-term quarantine until today (Sunday). Furthermore, it was decided to apply the decision on the quarantine to all those individuals living in the same household during the short-term quarantine.

Yesterday, parents of children within year 1 to 4  were asked to complete questionnaire regarding illnesses and replies were really good, whereas almost 100% responds were received. It is great to see how well parents are responding to such requests. We all need to take part in this joint fight against this pandemic situation. Following the result of the questionnaire, approximately 30 children and their family members showing symptoms of respiratory infections were called in for sampling last night and this morning. The ferry Herjolfur departured around 9 o‘clock this morning. Today´s samples will therefore also be submitted to the Landspitali´s lab for research today. The samples taken yesterday and this morning will most likely be evaluated by the virology department of Landspitali in the afternoon and results can be expected tonight. If the samples turn out to be negative, the short-term quarantine of those students who have not been ordered on a temporary quarantine for other reasons will be lifted. Decision on further school operation on Monday has not been taken yet, but the school operation is expected to be different.

The results of the samples taken on Friday were received yesterday. It was expected that lot of these samples would prove to be positive, since number of the individuals tested, had been in close contact with people with confirmed Covid-19 virus. However, number of positive results proved to be even higher than expected. Preparation on tracing and ordering people on quarantine in these cases started when the results were received on Friday and is still ongoing. 

Due to the increased number of incidents yesterday, it has been decided to carry out further restrictions on ban of mass gathering yesterday and an annoucement explaining the restrictions was published yesterday.

The main purpose of all these actions is to prevent further increase of Covid-19 within the society of Vestmannaeyjar. Therefore, all islanders are asked to participate in this fight to mitigate the outbreak and protect the most vulnerable people. 

In total, 16 incidents proved to be positive yesterday in Vestmannaeyjar, resulting in total 27 infected individuals. Out of these 16 infections already, 10 individuals were already in quarintine. One person tested yesterday was hospitalised. The sample proved to be positive and according to protocols the person in question was hospitalised in Landspitali Reykjavik. In total, 397 individuals are currently in quarantine. 

Further announcements will most likely be pusblished this evening.

The Crises Authorities in Vestmannaeyjar

Forsíðumynd Tói Vídó

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