Coronavirus situation in Lapland now

Corona status

Coronavirus situation in Lapland now

Wednesday 24 February 2021

The translated version of the coronavirus review for Lapland is published once a week.
Anyone experiencing even the slightest of symptoms while in Lapland must take a coronavirus test.

Links about the current situation:

Here you will find coronavirus test contact information for all municipalities of Lapland

Official instructions from Lapland to travellers who suspect they may have caught the coronavirus

THL: Travel and the coronavirus pandemic

For domestic travellers travelling to the Lapland Hospital District area from areas currently experiencing the acceleration and spreading phase of the coronavirus

Find more instructions and current recommendations and restrictions for the hospital districts

THL: This site tells about the progress being made with COVID-19 vaccinations

Lapland Hospital District

(current information at 12:42)

The COVID-19 situation has worsened throughout the country. The majority of hospital districts have now entered the spreading or accelerating phases of the epidemic. The Lapland Hospital District is now in the acceleration phase of the epidemic.

The incidence rate based on the last two weeks (week numbers 6 and 7, 8–21 February) is 70.2 per 100,000 inhabitants.  

The incidence rate based on one week, i.e. week no. 7 (15–21 February) is 44.5 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.

On Friday, the Lapland Hospital District shifted from the baseline phase to the acceleration phase of the epidemic – restrictions have been revised

During the coming weeks, the numbers of visitors travelling to the area are increasing. Visitors are arriving from areas that are suffering a more awkward epidemic situation (community transmission phase areas) and that have experienced plenty of variants of the virus. At this stage, it is important to predict and engage in measures for preventing the epidemic situation from worsening in the Lapland Hospital District area. On the basis of these, the Lapland Coronavirus Coordination Working Group issued its decision on Friday 19 February that states that the Lapland Hospital District is to shift from the baseline phase to the acceleration phase of the epidemic.

Due to the worsening situation of the epidemic and for the prevention of the spreading of infections, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Lapland has issued a new regulation for public gatherings that bans all indoor and outdoor public events and gatherings in the municipalities of the Lapland Hospital District that exceed 20 participants. This regulation is valid for the period 22 February – 21 March 2021.

The Lapland Coronavirus Coordination Working Group recommends that even private events with over 20 people should not be organised and that team sports for people over 16 years be interrupted for three weeks through to 14 March.

The use of face masks is recommended for all school employees and all sixth grade and older pupils. Remote working arrangements are recommended for all workplaces where remote working is possible. The banning of all public gatherings that exceed 20 people also applies to sports practice.

The situation of the coronavirus is worsening in the Lapland Hospital District – last week saw the highest weekly number of infections to date: 52 cases

A total of 52 new cases were confirmed during the previous week (week no. 7, 15–21 February). This figure is the highest weekly figure recorded to date in the Lapland Hospital District. The second highest figure was in the first week of November last year (42 cases). During this week, the number of confirmed cases to date is 15.

The disease situation is active throughout the entire Lapland Hospital District area. The high numbers of tourists arriving from the rest of Finland and Rovaniemi’s World Rally Championship put additional pressure on the coronavirus situation. It is now very important for everyone to act responsibly and to comply with the safety instructions.

The currently valid coronavirus recommendations and restrictions in the area of the Lapland Hospital District can be found here.

The Regional State Administrative Agency for Lapland has separately reminded the catering establishments in Lapland of responsible activities (in Finnish). It is recommended for catering establishments to require for customers to use a mask to prevent infection.

Last week (week no. 7, 15–21 February) a total of 5,102 coronavirus tests were taken in the Lapland Hospital District. Of these, 4,505 were rapid antigen tests. The number of positive tests was 1.02 percent.

The positive tests previously found for two persons participating in Rovaniemi’s World Rally Championship were found to be old infections – these people do not pose the risk of infection

Using more detailed examination, the positive coronavirus tests previously confirmed for two participants in Rovaniemi’s World Rally Championship were found to be old positive results, i.e. the persons have already had the coronavirus and are therefore no longer at risk of infecting others. Consequently, the isolation and quarantine orders associated with these two cases can be revoked, as there is no risk of infection.

Travelling to the Lapland Hospital District area from areas currently experiencing the acceleration and spreading phase

On 4 December 2020, the Lapland Hospital District issued instructions for domestic travel to the Lapland Hospital District area and for celebrating Christmas: The Lapland Hospital District has stated on 18 February 2021 that these instructions are still valid.

Please carefully consider if your trip is absolutely necessary.

Make sure you follow all the rules your own region has issued. It is necessary to use face masks on all public transport and in indoor areas where safe social distancing cannot be adhered to.

For a couple of weeks before the beginning of your trip, try to avoid all situations where you could be exposed to the coronavirus. Situations such as these are all public gatherings where safe distancing cannot be guaranteed. For instance, bars, shopping centres and group sports and pastimes. You must also avoid these situations while you are here.

Only come here if you are healthy.

If you become ill while you are here, even with the slightest of symptoms (e.g. sore throat, runny nose, cough, diarrhoea, changes in taste and smell), you must immediately go to the nearest coronavirus test station and remain in quarantine until you have received your test results.

If you meet anyone belonging to a risk group, make sure that everyone wears face masks for the entire duration of the visit.

Visit www.lshp.fi and www.koronaturvallinenlappi.fi/ for information about the Lapland Hospital District’s coronavirus guidelines.

Markku Broas, Infectious Disease Specialist
Antti Väänänen, Infectious Disease Specialist

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

Week no. 6 (8–14 February): 30 cases

Week no. 7 (15–21 February): 52 cases

Week no. 8 (current week): 15 cases (as of 24 February at 12:42)

The total number of cases confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 604. This figure includes people who live outside the region.

Infection Control Unit

***

Länsi-Pohja Hospital District

(current information at 9:56)

The coronavirus situation in the Länsi-Pohja area is still in the acceleration phase.

You must continue to take safety precautions – anticipation is important

Last week, a total of 12 new coronavirus infections were detected in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District. More detailed analysis of the infections is still ongoing (information from Monday 22 February), but tracking is still proving to be very effective.

A total of four (4) new coronavirus cases have been confirmed so far this week. Despite the reduction in the number of cases, it is still important to strictly adhere to all safety precautions in place for the coronavirus. The number of social contacts should also be kept to a minimum.

Event organisers are reminded of the orders issued by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Lapland that states there is a ban on any gatherings exceeding ten (10) persons in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District through to 18 March 2021 concerning all public events and meetings. In addition to this existing order, the Länsi-Pohja Pandemic Working Group would like to emphasise a strong recommendation to comply with this restriction of no more than ten (10) people at any gathering also for private occasions in the Länsi-Pohja area.

The epidemic situation in Southern Finland is deteriorating all the time

The incidence rate for two weeks per 100,000 inhabitants is:

  • Uusimaa 209
  • Norrbotten approximately 400
  • Länsi-Pohja 35
  • Whole of Finland 105

The increase in the epidemic is reflected in the increase in the number of hospitalisations and intensive care patients in Southern Finland. At the same time, the number of coronavirus variants that spread even easier has risen rapidly.

In Länsi-Pohja, the health care capacity is very limited. The epidemic situation should therefore be stopped from deteriorating by engaging in preventative measures. In Sea Lapland, the spring break (skiing holidays) will be during week no. 10 (8–14 March). A year ago, in the spring, large chains of transmission spread from Lapland’s ski resorts to different parts of Finland. It is very important to consider how to spend your skiing holiday, and how to comply with the coronavirus safety instructions during your stay.

Please avoid asking about vaccination timetables: you can stay informed using the information provided by your local authority

Vaccinations will progress in municipalities as vaccines are received. Municipalities are communicating vaccination issues on their websites. Everyone who wants to receive vaccines will be given them according to their age or risk group. Please avoid asking us for information about vaccination schedules, because at the moment it is causing unnecessary congestion in health care system. Please wait for your turn patiently and keep yourself informed with public announcements issued by your local authority (municipality).

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

Week no. 6 (8–14 February): 19 cases

Week no. 7 (15–21 February): 12 cases

Week no. 8 (current week): 4 cases (as of 24 February at 9:56)

The total number of cases confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 520.

Infection Control Unit

Lapland Hospital District

Number of cases

36

Week before last

27

Last week

528

All

Länsi-Pohja Hospital District

Number of cases

6

Week before last

9

Last week

492

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.