Corona status

Coronavirus situation in Lapland now

Wednesday 28 April 2021

The translated version of the coronavirus review for Lapland is published once a week.
Everyone staying in Lapland must take a coronavirus test even with the slightest of symptoms that are related to the coronavirus.

Links about the current situation:

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

THL: Travel and the coronavirus pandemic

Additional guidelines, current recommendations, and restrictions for hospital districts

THL: Progress with COVID-19 vaccinations

Lapland Hospital District

(current information at 12:00)

The Lapland Hospital District is in the baseline phase of the epidemic. The third wave of the epidemic in Finland started to drop after mid-March. Finland’s northern and central hospital districts are widely experiencing the baseline phase of the epidemic, with the exception of Länsi-Pohja. The hospital districts in Finland that are currently experiencing the community transmission or acceleration phases are located in southern Finland. However, the COVID-19 situation is improving throughout the nation.

The incidence rate based on the last two weeks (12–25 April) is 5.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The incidence rate based on one week (19–25 April) is 3.4 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.  

A total of 11 coronavirus infections were confirmed in the Sodankylä military barracks during this week and last week

Last week a total of four coronavirus infections were confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District area. Of these infections, two were confirmed in Levi in the municipality of Kittilä, one of which was reported with a local person and the other with a foreigner. One infection was confirmed in Sodankylä with a person not living in the region and one infection was reported with a person living in Rovaniemi who had received the coronavirus infection from abroad. A total of 3,186 coronavirus tests were taken last week (week no. 16, 19–25 April), of which 3,066 were rapid antigen tests. The proportion of positive test results accounted for 0.13 percent of all tests taken.

During the current week, a total of 12 infections have been confirmed, 10 of which were confirmed in the Sodankylä military barracks and two with tourists in Inari.

Since last week, in total 11 people have been tested as being coronavirus positive in the Sodankylä military barracks. For some of these cases, verifications are still ongoing. The home district for two of these people is within the Lapland Hospital District area, with the remaining people living outside the hospital district. Due to these infections, a total of 55 persons have been quarantined, with the majority of these people being conscripts. Tracing the sources of these infections is still ongoing.

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

Week no. 15 (12–18 April): Two (2) cases

Week no. 16 (19–25 April): Four (4) cases

Week no. 17 (current week): 12 cases (as of 28 April at 12:00)

The total number of cases confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 773. This figure also includes persons living outside the area.

Infection Control Unit

***

Länsi-Pohja Hospital District

(current information at 12:58)

The Länsi-Pohja Hospital District is in the acceleration phase of the epidemic.

Coronavirus mutation takes hold in Länsi-Pohja – the acceleration phase continues

During last week, 29 coronavirus infections were confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District. In checking the actual number of infections, one extra infection was verified on top of those already informed. Among the coronavirus infections confirmed last week, the so-called British variant of the coronavirus was found, in addition to five cases of the South African variant of the coronavirus.

During the current week, the number of new cases confirmed to date is six. The emphasis of the epidemic continues to be in Tornio, but there are people quarantined in almost every municipality of the district.

The situation with the epidemic has become even more difficult in Länsi-Pohja over the past few weeks, but it is the opinion of the Regional Pandemic Working Group that the criteria for the community transmission phase have not yet been met. Therefore, Länsi-Pohja continues to be in the acceleration phase of the epidemic.

Recommendation for graduation celebrations to be postponed until autumn

The Regional Pandemic Working Group decided to extend all existing recommendations through to 23 May 2021. All recommendations and restrictions currently applied in the Länsi-Pohja area are listed here and on the Hospital District website. The recommendations are reviewed on a weekly basis and shall be lifted when the epidemic situation allows such.

The Regional State Administrative Agency issues its own decisions regarding restrictions on public gatherings and safe distancing. These restrictions must also be taken into consideration when organising adult team sports exercises in outdoor areas. Regulations concerning adhering to safe distancing will also be issued.

The Länsi-Pohja Regional Pandemic Working Group recommends that with regard to graduation, celebrations should be postponed until the autumn, as was the case for last year. According to current estimates, vaccination coverage should be very good in the autumn, which means it will be a much safer time to celebrate graduations.

People crossing the border for shopping purposes are overloading the testing points: the mass testing points on the national border are not intended for issuing people with border crossing permits for the purpose of shopping

The Regional Pandemic Working Group would like to remind everyone that the municipal sampling points are not intended for asymptomatic persons who want to receive coronavirus certification so that they can go shopping in Sweden. The testing of asymptomatic people travelling over the national border for shopping purposes puts unnecessary strain on the health care resources and delays the testing of people suffering symptoms.

The mass testing point located on the national border is intended for testing people entering the country – not for people who are seeking certification for crossing the border for shopping purposes.

Choice of vaccine not yet available in Länsi-Pohja in the beginning of May

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare issued a recommendation last week that people aged 65–69 years with a normal state of health can choose which vaccine they want to take from the beginning of May. Unfortunately, this freedom of choice will not be available in the Länsi-Pohja area in the beginning of May, as the vaccinations of the risk groups is still underway.

There is good availability in the municipalities for the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged over 65 years old. Alongside this, the mRNA vaccines are also provided, but the availability of these does not currently allow people to choose which vaccine they would prefer. The available vaccination times are worth using in order to ensure that no delays are incurred with issuing vaccines. Municipalities inform about vaccination matters on their websites.

Growing coverage of vaccinations are soon expected to help with controlling the epidemic – in Länsi-Pohja already a quarter of the population has received the vaccine

The vaccination coverage will soon provide help for us in safeguarding the summer, because in the municipalities that belong to the Sea Lapland (Meri-Lappi) area, vaccines are given according to what is received by the area. Currently, already approximately 26 percent of the entire population of Sea Lapland has received the vaccine. In the United Kingdom, the incidence rate for the coronavirus quickly fell once vaccination coverage had exceeded 50 percent. Therefore, it is recommended for people to take the vaccine as soon as it is made available to them.

The Länsi-Pohja Regional Pandemic Working Group

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

Week no. 15 (12–18 April): 12 cases

Week no. 16 (19–25 April): 29 cases (as of 28 April at 12:58)

Week no. 17 (current week): 6 cases (as of 28 April at 12:58)

The total number of cases confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 642.

Infection Control Unit

Lapland Hospital District

Number of cases

4

Week before last

2

Last week

621

All

Länsi-Pohja Hospital District

Number of cases

25

Week before last

16

Last week

603

All

Incidence rate* by hospital district

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

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.