Reykjavík Grapevine

New Colour System To Help Track Infection Risk

By Jess Distill
Same old COVID, just in different colours.
Same old COVID, just in different colours.

A colour coding system is to be implemented to track the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland, and act as a warning system to show where there is increased risk of infection, Vísir reports.

Civil Protection and the Chief Epidemiologist have worked together to construct the four colour system, based on that used by the Icelandic Met Office for their weather warnings. The idea behind the system is that it can be used to highlight how widespread the virus is becoming across the country, in very fine detail.

The final drafts of the system will be discussed at a workshop today. Grey, the lowest level on the system, will represent what the authorities are calling “new norm”, meaning that the virus is present but no stricter measures beyond the normal personal hygiene and social distancing need to be taken. The levels then go up from yellow (“be on guard”), to orange (“increased risk”) to the highest alert level of red (“high risk”). Any time an alert level is raised, instructions from authorities will follow. Institutions and companies are expected to set their own guidelines within the framework of the system, and implement measure that are proportionate to the alert level.

The Civil Protection Department’s colour code system.

According to Jóhann K. Jóhannsson, Director of Civil Protection, “one aspect of the alert system is based on appealing to society as a whole and the responsibility of individuals, as the success of disease prevention is largely tied to their behaviour. Due to the amount of education that has taken place recently, both about the nature of infection control and the characteristics of COVID-19, it is assumed that people in Iceland are already well prepared and able to use good judgement using the new system and the extra knowledge it offers.”

Easy for the public to understand

The report submitted about the system goes on to state that “the colour coding system is not the same as the civic protection system – that is levels of uncertainty, danger and emergency – and responders will work accordingly. The system will be put in place for the public, as it is important to be able to express changes in the situation with a system that is commonly understood and that the public can interpret into their own situation.”

The colour codes can be used for the whole country, individual territories, municipalities or even institutions within municipalities. For example, a certain area may operate a red level due to wide spread infections, whilst the rest of the country is orange. “A school could be placed on orange alert even when the rest of the surrounding area is yellow. However, an institution cannot be a lighter colour than the area in which it operates”, says the report.

It is hoped that this system will help increase long term predictability and help minimise the overall damage the virus causes in Icelandic society.

The system is due to be implemented in the next few days.

The post New Colour System To Help Track Infection Risk appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy Grapevine’s content and want to help it’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining the High Five Club.

You can also check out Grapevine’s shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Athugið. Vísir hvetur lesendur til að skiptast á skoðunum. Allar athugasemdir eru á ábyrgð þeirra er þær rita. Lesendur skulu halda sig við málefnalega og hófstillta umræðu og áskilur Vísir sér rétt til að fjarlægja ummæli og/eða umræðu sem fer út fyrir þau mörk. Vísir mun loka á aðgang þeirra sem tjá sig ekki undir eigin nafni eða gerast ítrekað brotlegir við ofangreindar umgengnisreglur.

Velkomin á Vísi. Þessi vefur notar vafrakökur. Sjá nánar.