Coronavirus situation in Lapland now

Corona status

Coronavirus situation in Lapland now

Wednesday 24 November 2021

The translated version of the coronavirus review for Lapland is published weekly.

You still need to take a coronavirus test even when experiencing the mildest of symptoms, if you have the risk of being infected with a severe case of the coronavirus disease, or if you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, or you are employed in the social and health sector.

Links pertaining to the current situation:

Lapland Hospital District

(information as of 24 November at 14:34)

The Lapland Hospital District is in the baseline phase of the epidemic.

The incidence rate based on the last two weeks (8–21 November) is 104.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The incidence rate based on one week (15–21 November) is 65.0 per 100,000 inhabitants.
This incidence rate also includes cases of patients who live outside the Lapland Hospital District area. For this reason, the figure can differ from that announced by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) that does not count those living outside of Lapland.  

Non-vaccinated children and young adults at the top of the communicable disease statistics

37 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed this week. Most of the infections have been confirmed in Rovaniemi. In addition, some infections have been reported in Muonio in connection with the local epidemic and individual infections have been reported in Kittilä, Posio, Ranua, and Kemijärvi.

In particular, the disease has now been detected in children who are not yet vaccinated. Non-vaccinated young adults form another large group that is currently suffering the illness.

Last week (week no. 46, 15–21 November), a total of 76 new coronavirus infections were confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District. A total of 3,204 coronavirus tests were taken in the Lapland Hospital District last week, with 2,736 of these being rapid antigen tests. The proportion of positive test cases in relation to the total number of tests taken was 2.37 percent. Most of the cases were reported in Rovaniemi and Muonio. In addition, individual infections were found in Posio, Kittilä, Pello, Kolari, Sodankylä, and Kemijärvi.

19 November Press release of the Lapland Hospital District Coronavirus Coordination Group:

The worrying situation of the COVID-19 infection in the areas surrounding the Lapland Hospital District is also reflected in Lapland’s municipalities.

In recent months, the COVID-19 situation in the Lapland Hospital District has been calm and the incidence rate is one of the lowest in Finland. Last week and this week, the number of cases of the disease has increased significantly and the Coordination Group wishes to remind people of the importance of the basic matters.

Children and adults experiencing flu-like symptoms must have a low threshold for taking a coronavirus test

The disease is now particularly affecting children and young people. In Muonio, for example, a large chain of infections has been identified, the origin of which has been in children under the age of 12 years.

Since the under 12-year-olds are not yet eligible for vaccination, there is a possibility that large-scale transmission chains may be arise elsewhere. In the case of cutting the chain of infections, the most important method is to seek tests for children and adults with infection symptoms.

Vaccination of the population is the main means of preventing the spread of infections. In particular, there is still a large number of non-vaccinated people aged between 12 and 30, who unknowingly can spread the disease. In the case of senior citizens and people with multiple health conditions, the response to the vaccine can be weaker than for young people and the disease that has been transmitted to them without knowing it can be serious.

The Coordination Group would like all those aged 12 or over to seek vaccination. It is also recommended that those aged 60 and older and those in risk groups increase their vaccine protection by taking a third vaccine of the coronavirus approximately six months after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

The use of face masks is still recommended in public indoor areas and on public transport in the Lapland Hospital District area. It is also good to remember to wash your hands thoroughly and cough into your sleeve.

So far Lapland has been successful in treating cases of the disease and with the tracing of infection. The above measures aim to maintain the disease situation as calm and to avoid having to impose restrictive measures.  

As usual, all the current recommendations and restrictions valid for Lapland can be found on the www.koronaturvallinenlappi.fi website.

Further information available from:

Jukka Mattila, Medical Director, Lapland Hospital District, tel. 050 572 6277

Antti Väänänen, Infectious Disease Specialist, Lapland Hospital District, tel. 040 678 5974

There is also concern about the spread of infections to northern Finland from northern Norway. Click here to find up-to-date health authority guidelines for people arriving from northern Norway.

List of exposure sites for the last two weeks (updated on 24 November)

  • Wednesday 10 November Vintikki, Rovaniemi at around 10:00–10:15
  • Thursday 11 November Vintikki and SPR Kontti, Rovaniemi at 15:30–16:30
  • Friday 12 November Christmas House souvenir shop, Rovaniemi at 8:00–16:00
  • Friday 12 November Hai Long restaurant, Rovaniemi at 13:30–14:30
  • Friday 12 November Vintikki and SPR Kontti, Rovaniemi at 15:30–16:30
  • Saturday 13 November Levi Hotel Spa, swimming pool area at 17:00–20:00 
  • Saturday 13 November SMUK. Second Hand Shop Rovaniemi at 12:00–12:30
  • Saturday 13 November Tokmanni town centre, Rovaniemi at 12:00–13:00
  • Saturday 13 November Xian Long restaurant, Rovaniemi at 13:00–13:30
  • Saturday 13 November Prisma Rovaniemi at 17:00–18:00
  • Saturday 13 November Restaurant Sky Ounasvaara, Rovaniemi at 20:00–22:30
  • Sunday 14 November Rovaniemen Rauhanyhdistys at 16:00–17:30
  • Sunday 14 November Neste, Kittilä at 18:30–19:30
  • Monday 15 November Lahjatalo Gift House Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi at 10:00–16:15
  • Monday 15 November Christmas House Safaris, Rovaniemi at 10:00–16:00
  • Monday 15 November Hesburger restaurant town centre, Rovaniemi at 13:00–13:30
  • Monday 15 November Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, Rovaniemi at 18:00–18.30
  • Monday 15 November Clas Ohlson, Rovaniemi at 18:30–19:00
  • Monday 15 November S-market Revontuli, Rovaniemi at 19:00–19:30
  • Tuesday 16 November Prisma, Rovaniemi at 9:30–11:00
  • Tuesday 16 November Frans & Chérie restaurant, Rovaniemi at 11:00–11:40
  • Tuesday 16 November Coffee House, Rovaniemi at 12:45–13:00
  • Wednesday 17 November Frans & Chérie restaurant, Rovaniemi at around 11:15–12:00
  • Wednesday 17 November Da Zhong Hua restaurant, Rovaniemi at 13:00–14:00
  • Wednesday 17 November Santasport Spa, Rovaniemi (+ men’s dressing room/sauna) at 17:45–18:30
  • Wednesday 17 November Half Moon Night Club, Rovaniemi at 22:00–1:00 (new)
  • Thursday 18 November World Cup Levi at 9:00–13:00
  • Thursday 18 November Prisma Rovaniemi at 17:00–17:45
  • Thursday 18 November Alko Rovaniemi Eteläkeskus at 17:30–17:45
  • Friday 19 November World Cup Levi at 9:00–17:00
  • Friday 19 November Gondoliravintola restaurant, Levi at 11:30–12:15
  • Friday 19 November Pub Pisto, Rovaniemi at 11:30–13:00
  • Friday 19 November Prisma, Rovaniemi at 13:00–14:00
  • Friday 19 November Frans & Chérie restaurant, Rovaniemi at 19:00–23:00
  • Friday 19 November Sale Rantavitikka, Rovaniemi at 19:15–19:30
  • Friday 19 November – Saturday 20 November Roy Club, Rovaniemi at 22:30–5:00  (new)
  • Friday 19 November Oliver’s Corner Irish Pub, Rovaniemi at 23:00–3:00
  • Saturday 20 November K-Supermarket Rinteenkulma, Rovaniemi at 11:45–12:05 (new)
  • Saturday 20 November Filmtown Rovaniemi Sampokeskus at 12:10–12:25 (new)
  • Saturday 20 November Bio Rex, Rovaniemi: lobby at 12:25–13:00 and at the showing of Around the World in 80 Days (cinema 2) (new)
  • Saturday 20 November NIS, Rovaniemi at 13:15–13:30
  • Saturday 20 November Sotka, Rovaniemi at 14:30–14:45 (new)
  • Saturday 20 November Lidl Saarenkylä, Rovaniemi at 17:30–17:45
  • Saturday 20 November Bio Rex Rovaniemi: at the showing of the film 007 No time to Die (film duration approx. 2½ hours)
  • Saturday 20 November – Sunday 21 November Roy Club, Rovaniemi at 22:00–5:00 (new)
  • Sunday 21 November Science Centre Pilke, Rovaniemi at 11:30–13:00 (new)
  • Sunday 21 November Vesihiisi swimming halls, Rovaniemi at 14:00–16:00
  • Sunday 21 November Lidl Teollisuuskylä, Rovaniemi at 14:50–15:15 (new)
  • Sunday 22 November Saarenkylän apteekki pharmacy, Rovaniemi at 19:15–19:30 (new)
  • Monday 22 November – Tuesday 23 November Roy Club, Rovaniemi at 0:00–4:45 (new)

It is recommended that all visitors in those locations at the times mentioned monitor their own health and seek a COVID-19 test, even if experiencing the slightest of symptoms.

Number of positive coronavirus tests confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District by week

Week no. 45 (8–14 November): 46 cases
Week no. 46 (15–21 November): 76 cases
Week no. 47 (current week): 37 cases (as of 24 November at 14:34)

The total number of cases confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 1797. This figure also includes persons living outside the area.

Infection Control Unit

***

Current vaccination coverage in Lapland and in Finland (updated on 24 November)

In the Lapland Hospital District, of the population aged 12 years or over, 86.1% have received the first dose of the vaccine and 81.1% have received two doses of the vaccine. Of the total population of the Lapland Hospital District, 76.4% have received the first dose of the vaccine and 72% percent have received the second dose of the vaccine.

In the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District, of the population aged 12 years or over, 85.7% have received the first dose of the vaccine and 80.4% have received two doses of the vaccine. Of the total population of the Lapland Hospital District, 75.8% have received the first dose of the vaccine and 71.2% percent have received the second dose of the vaccine.

Of the entire population of Finland over the age of 12 years, the vaccination coverage is 86.4% for the first dose and 81.1% for the second dose. Of the total population of Finland, 76.1% have received the first dose of the vaccine and 71.4% percent have received the second dose of the vaccine.

***

Länsi-Pohja Hospital District

(information as of 24 October at 13:01)
The coronavirus review for the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District is mainly published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Länsi-Pohja Hospital District is currently in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Regional Pandemic Working Group: Hospital pressure has increased rapidly

During this week, by Wednesday, 20 new coronavirus infections have been confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District. The incidence rate based on the last two weeks in the Länsi-Pohja district is now approximately 200 per 100,000 inhabitants. The difficult situation of coronavirus in neighbouring areas, especially North Ostrobothnia, is reflected in the Sea Lapland (Meri-Lappi) region.

Hospital pressure has increased rapidly in recent weeks. There are currently 14 coronavirus patients in hospital care, of which four in the Länsi-Pohja Central Hospital and 10 in the hospital beds of the health centres. The Infection Ward of the Central Hospital has so far been entirely allocated for the treatment of coronavirus patients. Currently, there are no coronavirus patients receiving intensive care.

A chain of infections has been verified in the Kivikangas Nursing Home in Kemi and restrictions on visits have been imposed.

Vaccines are also available when away from home

Tracing the sources of infections has shown that the transmission chains in the region have often started from non-vaccinated persons aged 30 to 40 years. Especially through family exposures, infections have also spread to vaccinated persons. The vaccination coverage in Länsi-Pohja has risen to over 80%, but remains slightly lower than in the rest of Finland.

Vaccines can now be obtained elsewhere than in your home municipality. For example, there are pop-up vaccination events in Tornio where anyone can come to get the first vaccine dose without having to make an appointment. The next vaccination event will be on Saturday 27 November between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The vaccination site is at the Rajala Shopping Centre.

There are availability problems with influenza vaccines and these may no longer be available from pharmacies. In public health care, influenza vaccines are administered to specific risk groups.

In almost all municipalities in the region, restrictions have been introduced concerning public gatherings in recent weeks and, in addition, there are also restrictions on restaurants and bars imposed by the Government, which will apply until the end of the year. The alternative to these restrictions is to start using the COVID-19 Passport.

All familiar COVID-19 safety measures – good hand hygiene, safe distancing, and face mask use – are still relevant. Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people must adhere to these safety measures. The coronavirus recommendations currently applied in the Länsi-Pohja area are listed on the Hospital District website.

Länsi-Pohja Regional Pandemic Working Group

For further information please contact: Medical Director Jyri J. Taskila, tel. +358 40 352 1097

Number of positive coronavirus tests confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District by week

Week no. 45 (8–14 November): 73 cases
Week no. 46 (15–21 November): 65 cases
Week no. 47 (current week): 20 cases (as of 24 November at 13:01)

The total number of cases confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 1,415.

Infection Control Unit

Lapland Hospital District

Number of cases

61

Week before last

89

Last week

1612

All

Länsi-Pohja Hospital District

Number of cases

48

Week before last

54

Last week

1226

All

Incidence rate* by hospital district

*Incidence refers to the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the period.

Source: THL
(Note: Numbers do not include cases where the patient is from other hospital district)

Instructions Principle guidelines in Lapland:
In addition, please follow these general safety guidelines:

1. Take the coronavirus test

If you fall ill, even if you have mild symptoms, go for a coronavirus test and stay isolated until you receive the results of the test. There is a very low threshold for tests – make an appointment for your coronavirus test with your local health centre. Find the contact details for your locality from the section “Ask for advice or book an appointment for a coronavirus test.

2. Maintain a safe distance at all times

Adhere to social distancing rules in shops and public gatherings outdoors and indoors. Try to avoid all public gatherings.

3. Use a face mask

Face masks are recommended in the following situations:

  • When using public transport
  • When leaving home for a coronavirus test.
  • Passengers arriving in Finland from a risk area making their way from the place of arrival to quarantine or who they have an urgent reason to spend time outside the home during quarantine.
  • In all other situations, with indoor gatherings where close contacts cannot always be avoided.
  • If you belong to one of the risk groups, in addition to other precautions, use a face mask in shops, public indoor areas, public transport and other similar situations to make sure you are protected. The use of a surgical nose and mouth face mask is recommended.

The use of a face mask shows consideration for others and should be practiced. When the infection situation changes in Lapland, we will provide more recommendations, if necessary.

4. Cough in the correct way

Cough or sneeze into a disposable handkerchief or your own sleeve.

5. Take care of hand hygiene

Make sure you wash or disinfect your hands many times a day. A pocket-sized bottle of disinfectant is easy to carry with you!

6. Monitor the situation

Monitor coronavirus announcements, i.e. the so-called “Corona Status”. The coronavirus situation is not yet over, so please monitor how the situation develops, follow the guidelines and act responsibly.

7. Care

Don’t leave anyone alone, let’s take care of each other and enjoy life.