COVID-19 pandemic in the Faroe Islands

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COVID-19 pandemic in the Faroe Islands
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationFaroe Islands
First outbreakWuhan, China (globally),
Paris, France (origin of first Faroese case)[1]
Index caseTórshavn
Arrival date4 March 2020
(6 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
DateMarch 2020 –May 2020;[2]
July 2020[3]–present
Confirmed cases460[4]
Active cases43[4]
Recovered417[4]
Deaths
0[4]
Fatality rate0%
Government website
corona.fo

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory of Denmark, in March 2020. The confirmed infection rate was 1 case per 280 inhabitants, one of the highest rates in the world, but the archipelago also tested at a very high frequency, with the number of tests equalling c. 34 per cent of the population (one of the highest in the world, per capita).[5] As of 22 September 2020, there have been 451 confirmed cases. Among these, no people have died, 416 have recovered, and one person is in hospital.[4] From 20 August until 11 September there had been no inland case of COVID-19.[6][7][8] On 22 September there were 35 active cases and as of 22 September 121 107 people had been tested in the Faroe Islands.[9]

There have been two waves of COVID-19 cases in the Faroe Islands, the first was in March–April and the second in July–September. The vast majority of the confirmed cases have been asymptomatic or mild; a few were admitted to hospital,[10] and none have died.[4] Among the initial 187 cases, the last person recovered on 8 May.[4][11] After almost two months with no known cases, one was confirmed on 4 July when a person tested positive at the entry into the territory,[12] and on 19 July, a family of three were tested positive at their entry.[13] There were many cases in the beginning of August 2020. These cases were all related to the same person and spread on the national holiday ólavsøka, which was celabrated on 28 and 29 July, and during the days after, mainly at private parties, according to the Chief Medical Officer. With massive testing and isolating the persons who tested positive and their close contacts the authorities managed to stop the spreading of the virus.

In July and August there were many foreign sailors who tested positive for COVID-19 when their ship was embarked at a Faroese port.

On 11 September a new chain of the COVID-19 virus was confirmed and on the following days there were between 0 to 5 daily cases. One of the infected was one of the stewardesses working for the Faroese airline company Atlantic Airways, she got the virus when she was in Denmark.[14] A few days later the CEO of Atlantic Airways confirmed that 9 of their employees had tested positive for COVID-19.[15] On 19 September it was announced by the Faroese health authorities, that there had been a few cases with unknown source.[16]

Overview[edit]

The significant salmon farming on the islands requires test equipment to check for Salmon isavirus, which was repurposed in 2009 against the Pandemic H1N1/09 virus. The equipment was adapted to test for COVID-19, and ready by February 2020 to test 600 per day instead of waiting days for samples to be sent to Denmark for testing.[17] The islands employed the usual epidemic strategy of testing, disease surveillance and tracking disease cases,[18] which have been abandoned in most countries because their health care system has been overwhelmed. The Faroe Islands, like Iceland, is seen as an exception due to its large testing capacity relative to its population size; a miniature laboratory with lessons on how to handle the disease.[19] Researchers perform DNA analysis of the virus strains.[20] The islands were preparing for a possible second wave of infections,[21] which started in July and August 2020. On 4 July and 18 July there were first one and then three cases imported by tourist. On 24, 27 and 29 July there were 32 cases amongst foreign sailors, which left the Faroe Islands again. On 3 August there was the first two cases of a row of daily cases where all or most of the infected persons were either Faroese people who had been abroad or Faroese people who live else where and visited their families.[22]

Timeline[edit]

COVID-19 cases in Faroe Islands  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Mar Mar Apr Apr May May Jun Jun Jul Jul Aug Aug Sep Sep Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
# of deaths
2020-03-04
1(n.a.) 0(n.a.)
1(=)
2020-03-06
2(+100%) 0(n.a.)
2(=)
2020-03-13
3(+50%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-14
9(+200%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-15
11(+22%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-16
18(+64%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-17
47(+161%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-18
58(+23%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-19
72(+24%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-20
80(+11%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-21
92(+15%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-22
115(+25%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-23
118(+2.6%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-24
122(+3.4%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-25
132(+8.2%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-26
140(+6.1%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-27
144(+2.9%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-28
151(+4.9%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-29
155(+2.6%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-30
159(+2.6%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-31
164(+3.1%) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-01
169(+3%) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-02
173(+2.4%) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-03
177(+2.3%) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-04
181(+2.3%) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-05
184(+1.7%) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-06
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-07
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-08
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-09
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-10
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-11
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-12
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-13
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-14
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-15
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-16
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-17
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-18
184(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-19
185(+0.54%) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-20
185(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-21
185(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-22
185(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-23
187(+1.1%) 0(n.a.)
187(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-27
187(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-28
187(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-04-29
187(=) 0(n.a.)
187(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-05-03
187(=) 0(n.a.)
187(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-05-08
187(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-05-09
187(=) 0(n.a.)
187(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-05
188(+0.53%) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-06
188(=) 0(n.a.)
188(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-19
191(+1.6%) 0(n.a.)
191(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-25
214(+12%) 0(n.a.)
214(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-28
220(+2.8%) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-29
220(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-30
225(+2.3%) 0(n.a.)
2020-07-31
225(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-01
225(=) 0(n.a.)
225(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-04
227(+0.89%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-05
241(+6.2%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-06
279(+16%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-07
295(+5.7%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-08
303(+2.7%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-09
313(+3.3%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-10
323(+3.2%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-11
336(+4%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-12
362(+7.7%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-13
365(+0.83%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-14
370(+1.4%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-15
372(+0.54%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-16
373(+0.27%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-17
377(+1.1%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-18
379(+0.53%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-19
380(+0.26%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-20
381(+0.26%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-21
381(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-22
381(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-23
410(+7.6%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-24
411(+0.24%) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-25
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-26
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-27
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-28
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-29
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-30
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-08-31
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-01
411(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-02
412(+0.24%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-03
413(+0.24%) 0(n.a.)
413(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-06
413(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-07
414(+0.24%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-08
415(+0.24%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-09
416(+0.24%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-10
416(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-11
418(+0.48%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-12
423(+1.2%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-13
423(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-14
428(+1.2%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-15
428(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-16
429(+0.23%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-17
430(+0.23%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-18
431(+0.23%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-19
434(+0.7%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-20
437(+0.69%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-21
447(+2.3%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-22
450(+0.67%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-23
454(+0.89%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-24
457(+0.66%) 0(n.a.)
2020-09-25
460(+0.66%) 0(n.a.)
Data sourced from corona.fo


Below is a detailed description of how the virus spread according to news media in the Faroe Islands. Results were announced in the morning. These results were from swabs taken the day before.

Overview of the evolvement of the pandemic in the Faroe Islands.

March[edit]

4 March[edit]

On 4 March 2020, the Faroe Islands had its first confirmed case, a man who on 24 February[23] returned home from a conference in Paris, France. He had mild symptoms, and was placed in home quarantine.[1][24]

6 March[edit]

On 6 March, a second case was confirmed.[25] The second confirmed case was a woman returning home from Northern Italy. She returned home on 3 March and went in quarantine at Hotel Vágar.[26]

There was much news coverage on the field trips of 300 students and teachers to France, because Glasir (Tórshavn College) decided to cancel the trip because of the COVID-19 outbreak, especially after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark had changed France from a green area to a yellow area, meaning that the recommendation went from "Be attentive" to "Be extra cautious."[27]

12 March[edit]

The society slows down. Following the announcement on the evening of Wednesday 11 March, that Denmark would be shutting down, the Faroese government had a press conference on Thursday morning at 9:00 am announcing the measures that would be put in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Faroe Islands. The recommendations were as follows:[citation needed]

  • All international travel is strongly discouraged, unless absolutely necessary
  • All municipalities are urged to take measures regarding passenger cruise ships on their way to the Faroe Islands
  • Anyone arriving in the Faroe Islands from overseas must take the utmost precaution and stay at home
  • Restrictions on visitors to hospitals and nursing homes will apply. Further guidelines will be issued by the health and local council authorities
  • The school system, including tertiary, secondary and primary schools, will close. Students and pupils will wherever possible have access to remote teaching.
  • Children's activity centres, preschools and day care facilities will also close. Childcare will be offered to those who, for particular reasons, are not able to have their children at home during working hours.
  • All employees in the public sector who do not deal with the most essential services should work from home. Staff will receive further instructions from their respective directors.
  • Measures have already been taken in the private sector to guard against infection.
  • Bars, venues and restaurants are urged to close by 22:00 for the next two weeks.

Shortly after this announcement, Smyril Line announced that they would stop transporting passengers. They would allow the last passengers to get home, but with measures to prevent infected people to get on board, such as vetting them and checking their temperature, before they were allowed entry.[28][29]

13 March[edit]

On 13 March, the third case was confirmed.[30] There were 23 tests made the day before, and the only positive one was a woman who came from Denmark on 9 March.[31] The woman went to work in a kindergarten in Klaksvík on 10 March, which meant that her coworkers, children, children's parents and grandparents, as well as her friends were quarantined. Around 100 people were quarantined.[32]

On Friday evening, two new cases were confirmed, but these results belong to the statistics for confirmed cases on Saturday.

The fourth Faroe Islander was confirmed positive. This person was a student at Glasir, Tórshavn College, and he or she was infected on a study tour to Portugal. The students had not been to school since they returned from their trip.[33]

The fifth infected Faroe Islander arrived from Edinburgh, but it was not known when he arrived to the Faroe Islands. He was above 30 and from Tórshavn.[34][35]

14 March[edit]

On 14 March, there were six new confirmed cases, bringing the total up to nine.[36] This was the result of testing 100 people the day before.[37]

15 March[edit]

On 15 March, there were two confirmed cases, bringing the total count up to 11. On this date it was confirmed that 7 of the 11 infected were infected in other countries, while two were infected by people who already tested positive and were in quarantine. Altogether there had been administered 327 tests.[38] The two people who were infected in the Faroe Islands were staff at the kindergarten in Klaksvík where the infected woman worked.[39] By 15 March 327 people had been tested and 122 people were in quarantine.[38]

Before business resumed on Monday, the Faroese government announced four ways they would help businesses get through this crisis.[40]

  1. The government will pay companies back the salary of people who have been asked by the government to be in quarantine. People who can work from home are not covered.
  2. If companies need to decrease the amount of hours their employees work, the Faroese Employment Office will provide the lost income at a percentage of the maximum payment.
  3. Companies can pay their VAT 3 months late.
  4. The Danish Growth Fund can assist small and medium-sized companies with financing of operations.

16 March[edit]

On 16 March, seven new cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 18. These seven positive results came out of 190 tests made the day before, which means that there were 517 tests administered altogether.[41]

The biggest banks in the Faroe Islands, Betri banki and BankNordik announced that they would grant private and commercial clients respite for 6 months.[42][43]

17 March[edit]

On 17 March 29 new cases were confirmed, expanding the total number to 47. There were 190 tests administered the day before, bringing the total number of tests for COVID-19 to 703.[44]

The Faroese Epidemic Commission advised people not to gather in groups. They said that no more than 10 people should be together at once, inside or outside.[45]

The Chief Medical Officer in the Faroe Islands announced that at this point, most people have been infected within the Faroe Islands. Most of the infected live in Tórshavn or Klaksvík.[46] Klaksvíkar sjúkrahús started to test for COVID-19, making it easier for people in Eysturoy and the Northern Islands to get tested.[47]

Three employees at the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands were confirmed positive, bringing the total number of infected employees at this hospital to four.[48]

Scandinavian Airlines stopped flying to the Faroe Islands on 17 March.[49] The same day was the last day that Atlantic Airways was transporting passengers on their flights. Now they are only flying essential personnel and patients between Vagar Airport and Copenhagen Airport.[50]

18 March[edit]

On 18 March 11 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total up to 58. 933 people have now been tested altogether, so 230 tests were administered on Tuesday, and 247 people are in quarantine.[51]

The person who was first confirmed infected was confirmed recovered on 18 March. He and his family had been in quarantine at home, but they were now relieved from quarantine. They are all tested negative. He first started to show symptoms on 29 February and the people he had been in contact with, who were quarantined at home or at Hotel Vágar, have also been relieved from quarantine.[52]

Magn and Effo announced that they would close all gas station shops on Thursday 19 March in order to limit the spread of the virus. It was still possible to buy gasoline and diesel with credit card, as it was only the shops that were closed.[53]

Several ferries restricted the number of passengers.[54]

19 March[edit]

On 19 March 14 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total up to 72. 1,221 people have now been tested altogether, meaning that there were 288 people tested on Wednesday.[55]

On this day, many volunteers signed up to work at hospitals and nursing homes. 150 people signed up to help in the hospital, in case the hospital system would need extra staff. 93 people signed up to help nursing homes in two municipalities. People who volunteered were medical students, retired nurses, nurse students, assistant nurse students, health visitor students, and educators from kindergartens that were closed anyway.[56][57][58]

The second Faroe Islander was declared recovered from COVID-19. It was the woman who had been in quarantine in Hotel Vágar and who was the second Faroe Islander to be confirmed infected.[59]

20 March[edit]

By March 20, 8 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total up to 80. 420 people were tested on Thursday 19 March, bringing the total number of administered tests to 1,641. The third infected person was confirmed recovered. More than 675 people were in quarantine on this day.[60] The Social Services system reported that it was operational, with reserve staff available. No users had been infected.[61]

On a press conference held on 20 March it was announced that all the changes the government had previously implemented for two weeks would last until 13 April, which was Easter Monday.[62]

On this day, Betri, a Faroese bank, insurance company and pension provider decided to donate DKK 10 million (equivalent of US$1.4 million) to Sjúkrahúsverk Føroya (the Faroese Hospital Service). The money was to be used for equipment and supplies that would help fight the coronavirus.[63]

About 5,000 people were expected to join the special crisis system set up within ASL, the Faroese Employment Office, on Monday, where they would get paid up to DKK 20,000 DKK a month. If 5,000 people would join, it was expected that this special system would cost DKK 108 million per month.[64] For example, around 180 people working for Atlantic Airways were signed up for this system, since the national airline had cancelled all commercial flights and would only be handling three flights per week between Vágar and Copenhagen. The airline would primarily be flying patients and Faroe Islanders who were working abroad.[65]

21 March[edit]

On 21 March there were 12 new confirmed cases, bringing the total up to 92. It was also announced that so far, no one in the Faroe Islands had died from the coronavirus pandemic. Above 600 people were in quarantine.[66] 11 people were confirmed to have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recovered people up to 14. This means that 14 people out of the 92 infected have recovered, leaving 78 people still infected. There had been made 301 tests the day before, bringing the total number of tests administered to 1942.[67] The national broadcasting showed a collage video of people singing together safely from individual homes as a way of keeping up spirits.[68]

The gender split is equal among the people tested positive.[69]

Exports declined by 100 million DKK in March 2020 compared to March 2019.[70]

April[edit]

Some lockdown measures were eased on 9 April,[71] however church services remained closed.[72] Commercial activity for aviation, tourism and other areas were challenged.[73][74][75] The salmon industry saw increased demand but struggled to attract applicants laid off from other industries.[76][77] The quarantine reduced the spread of both COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.[78]

May[edit]

More lockdown measures were eased in early May,[79][80] with most being removed by mid-May.[81][82] The government declared the islands "Corona free" on 9 May,[83][84] crediting the community spirit of the population.[85]

July[edit]

Overview of the development of the second wave of the pandemic in the Faroe Islands.

After almost two months with no known cases, one was confirmed on 4 July when a person tested positive at the entry into the territory; the person was placed in quarantine. The person had had COVID-19 earlier and recovered. It was suspected that the positive test only was the result of remnants of the earlier infection (as known from some earlier cases), making it unlikely that the person could infect others. As a precaution, further testing (including antibody test) was performed,[86] which confirmed that it was not a new infection.[13] On 9 July, the islands were again considered free of Corona.[4]

On 19 July, a foreign family of three were tested positive at their entry into the Faroe Islands; they were placed in quarantine.[13]

On 24 July, a crew member on the Russian trawler AK-0749 Karelia docking in Klaksvík had tested COVID-19 positive, and later the same day another crew member was hospitalised with corona-like symptoms. On the following day 30 crew members of 77 were tested, including the 2 hospitalized and 23 of these tested COVID-19 positive.[87] 8 Faroese people have been in contact with the crew and were quarantined.[87] On 26 July Karelia left the Faroe Islands.[88] Faroese authorities had urged the ship's captain to return to Russia immediately due to the possibility of some of the infected sailors needing urgent treatment, but in stead the trawler was heading for further fishing in NEAFC (North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission) waters northeast of the Faroe Islands.[89]

On 28 July all 23 crew members from the Lithuanian cargo ship Cassiopea, which was docked next to the Russian trawler Karelia in Klaksvík were tested, and six of them got a positive result. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the Faroe Islands to 220, and the number of active cases to 32, all 32 cases are foreigners, 29 sailors and 3 tourists. Even though most of them had left the islands, they would remain listed as active cases in the Faroe Islands for two weeks.[90]

On 30 July another five sailors aboard Cassiopea test positive for COVID-19. This means that a total of 11 crew members from Cassiopea have tested positive, and that the Faroe Islands on that day had 37 active cases registered. The crew were told to stay on the ship.[91] Later that day Cassiopea left the Faroe Islands with most of its crew[92] heading for Las Palmas.[93] Four sailors from Cassiopea remained in the Faroe Islands, three of them which had been tested positive were isolated in a hotel and the fourth who was tested negative was quarantined also in a hotel.[94]

A third foreign vessel the Russian trawler Yantarnyy was lying together with Cassiopea and Karelia for several days in Ánirnar, north of Klaksvík, and therefore the Faroese authorities offered the crew to be tested for COVID-19, but the captain chose not to accept the offer. In stead the ship went fishing in international sea north of the Faroe Islands after a short stop in Fuglafjørður for oil bunkering.[95]

August[edit]

On August 3, 2020 (announced on 4 August) two cases of COVID-19 were discovered in the Faroe Islands, the two cases were the first cases of non-imported cases in four months, and at the same time it was also reported that a Dane had been tested positive at Copenhagen Airport after returning from a trip to the Faroe Islands. All three had been attending the national festival Ólavsøka where many people gathered in Tórshavn.[96] On the following day 5 August an additional 14 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed. On 6 August 38 cases were found, which was a new Faroese record.[97] Most of the cases were related to a few events around ólavsøka and a few private parties. A lot of people wanted to be tested and lined up in their cars outside the National Hospital in Tórshavn as well as in front of the other two hospitals in Klaksvík and Tvøroyri, leading to traffic jam. On 6 August the line of cars was 1,5 kilometers long in Tórshavn.[98] On 8 August 4541 people were tested on one day. In the weekend from 6 to 9 August 10.252 tests were conducted, which means 19,5% of the Faroe people were tested for COVID-19 in four days.[99] On 10 August the Faroese Ministry of Health announced that there had been 88 reported cases in one week, and that all of theses people had Faroese social security number, which means people who live either in the Faroe Islands or Faroese people who live abroad and were visiting their families. The Chief Medical Officer of the Faroe Islands was sure that all cases could be traced back to one imported case from a person who also had Faroese social security number.[100] 16 cases were found from tests taken on 7 August, 11 were found on 8 August and six cases were found on Sunday 9 August. The following three days there were 13,14 and 12 daily new cases. From 13 August until 20 August there were between 1 and 5 new daily cases.

On 21 and 22 August no cases were found for the first time since before the ólavøka-related outbreak had started.[101]

On 23 August the Russian trawler Yantarnyy came back to the Faroe Islands after being away in the North Sea north of the Faroe Islands fishing for almost four weeks. The captain refused to let the crew be tested in late July when they had been exposed to COVID-19 from another Russian trawler and a Lithuanian cargo vessel for several days when the three vessels were lying side by side in the port of Ánirnar north of Klaksvík.[102][95] The ship came to Kollafjørður on Sunday 23 August and told the authorities, that two of the crew members had symptoms which could be COVID-19. The Faroese authorities now tested all of the crew. 29 of 77 crew members tested positive for COVID-19. They were told not to leave the ship, except for the two who had symptoms, they were hospitalized at the National Hospital in Tórshavn.[103] Both Russian sailors which were hospitalized needed to be on ventilators. They are the first patients in the Faroe Islands which needed ventilators. The capacity is very little in the Faroese hospitals, so the two sailors were transferred to Rigshospitalet in Denmark in stead.[104][105] As of 25 August 2020 there had been no inland case of COVID-19 for five days in a row.[106] 31 of the 54 active cases were foreigners; 29 were Russian sailors[8] and two were members of the delegation from the Slovakian football team ŠK Slovan Bratislava, which tested positive after arriving in the Faroe Islands ahead of their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round match against KÍ Klaksvík scheduled for 19 August 2020.[107]

September[edit]

On 7 September 2020 the Faroe Islands only had four active COVID-19 cases left. 30 new recoveries had been announced, meaning 409 of the 413 confirmed cases had ended in a recovery. Among them were 29 sailors from the Russian vessel Yantarnyy who tested positive two weeks earlier.[108]

On 19 September the Ministry of Health and the chief medical officer announced that there had been one case of COVID-19 amongst those tested on 18 September and that it was unknown from whom this person had got infected.[109] On 20 September 3 cases were tested positive and that they all belonged to the same chain of infection. Amongst the infected persons was a family from Tórshavn. Their children attended the high school Glasir and the children's school Skúlin á Fløtum and a kindergarten. The Faroese Ministry of Culture decided that all pupils from Glasir should be tested two times, on the same day (or the day after) and then three days later, and that they should stay at home until at least Wednesday 23 September.[110] Glasir announced later on the same day that 273 pupils and staff had been tested and that the rest of them would be tested on the following day and that they all should self isolate until they had been tested two times with three days in between the two tests. That meant that around 2000 people from Glasir should be self isolating at home until the second test result came back negative.[111]

On 21 September as many as 3851 persons were tested, 11 persons were tested positive.[112] Some days later the number of persons was corrected to 10 because one of the persons turned out to be a false positive.[113] Amongs those whe were tested on 21 September were most of the pupils from Glasir, the largest high school in the Faroe Islands, located in Tórshavn. One pupil had tested positive a few days earlier, so it was decided that all staff and pupils should be tested. This was done over two days, on the first day no one was tested positive, but on 21 September one pupil from Glasir tested positive. These two cases on Glasir resulted in as a precaution that all classes should receive distant learning at least for the whole week from 21 until 25 September.[114]

Faroese COVID-19 statistics and foreign sailors[edit]

In July and August 2020 three foreign vessels which embarked in the Faroe Islands had crew members which tested positive for COVID-19. These cases. In July 34 tested positive and in August 29 Russian sailors tested positive. There was also an outbreak of Faroese people who tested positive for COVID-19 in August, but after intensive voluntarily testing of large numbers of Faroese people and home-isolating the positive cases and their close contacts the outbreak was under control. However most of the Faroe Islands’ active cases in late August and early September 2020 were Russian sailors from the vessel Yantarnyy which made up a large part of the country's active cases. This, as many had pointed out, created a problem for the Faroe Islands, as the high infection numbers could be misleading. Norway placed the Faroe Islands on the red list in August 2020, and discouraged any Norwegian citizen from travelling to the Faroe Islands, which made it unnecessarily difficult for Faroese sailors and other Faroe Islanders working in Norway, as they had to be in quarantine in Norway for ten day before they could go to work.[115]

On 2 September 2020 it was announced by the Faroese government and the Chief Medical Officer Lars Fodgaard Møller that foreign sailors will no longer be counted in the Faroese statistics unless they step on Faroese soil.[116]

Data overview[edit]

Below is an overview of the data presented above.

Number of COVID-19 cases before and after 1 July 2020[edit]

Updated pr. 22 September 2020.

Source: [1]

Region/island Before 1 July 2020 Since 1 July 2020
Norðoyggjar 45 2
Eysturoy 21 22
Norðurstreymoy 11 7
Suðurstreymoy incl. Nólsoy, Hestur 95 121
Vágar incl. Mykines 12 13
Sandoy incl. Skúvoy, Stóra Dímun 0 7
Suðuroy 3 12
Not registered 0 3
Foreigners* and Faroese expatriates 0 74

As of 22 September 2020 no people have died of COVID-19 in the Faroe Islands.

NB, 63 of the foreigners which tested positive are sailors from two Russian trawlers and a Lithuanian cargo vessel.[87][92][103]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]