Thursday 14 January 2021
The translated version of the coronavirus review for Lapland is published once a week.
Lapland Hospital District
(current information at 12:25)
The incidence rate based on the last two weeks (week numbers 53 and 1, 28 December 2020 – 10 January 2021) is 31.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The incidence rate based on one week, i.e. week no. 1, 4–10 January) is 17.1 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.
Government policy: Coronavirus tests soon to be done for people crossing the national border
Last week (week no. 1, 4–10 January 2021), a total of 20 coronavirus infections were confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District. A total of 1693 coronavirus tests were taken. 774 of these tests were rapid antigen tests. The number of positive results accounted for 1.18%.
Three new coronavirus cases have been confirmed so far this week. The first new case was confirmed in Pello and the infection came from abroad. The second case was confirmed in Kittilä and the person contracting the infection was a person living outside the region who was already in quarantine. The third case was confirmed in Kolari and originates from abroad.
Over the past two weeks (week numbers 53 and 1, 28 December 2020 – 10 January 2021), 20 percent of cases confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District were related to infections from Sweden.
The Finnish government policy is to commence coronavirus tests on Finland’s borders, including land borders. In this respect, the border municipalities of the Lapland Hospital District continue to share tasks for commencing coronavirus testing at the border stations. The coronavirus testing for people entering the country via the Salla border point has been piloted since the end of last week. Less than 40 persons crossing the national border have been directed to the coronavirus testing points of the Salla healthcare centre. Of these people directed to coronavirus testing, one-third actually took the test and all test results for these persons were negative.
The two-week incidence rate for the Norrbotten County in Sweden is up to 20 times greater than the incidence rate for the Lapland Hospital District. If the new coronavirus variants spread in Norrbotten County, these variants could spread through Finland with traffic crossing the border, which would change the epidemic situation in the Lapland region very quickly.
Over the past few weeks, less people have sought a coronavirus test in the hospital district than earlier
For us to be able to discover infections and prevent the coronavirus from spreading, it is extremely important you seek a coronavirus test even if you have the mildest of symptoms. We also urge you to stick to all safety rules issued for the coronavirus. Infections can be prevented by using hand disinfectant and by wearing a mask in situations where adhering to safe distancing rules is impossible.
Levi has been successful with coronavirus safety
Work has been done to improve coronavirus safety in Levi, Kittilä. Some enterprises operating in Levi have engaged in thorough safety procedures. For example, Levi Ski Resort has made the use of mask indoors compulsory, a measure that has received much praise from customers. Visitors to the region have also behaved in a responsible manner by adhering to the guidelines issued and seeking a coronavirus test. At the moment there are 12 visitors known to have had the coronavirus while staying in Levi during December. No significant group exposure has occurred.
Number of positive coronavirus tests in the Lapland Hospital District by week
28 December 2020 – 3 January 2021 (week no. 53): 17 cases
4–10 January 2021 (week no. 1): 20 cases
11–17 January (week no. 2, current week): 3 cases (as of 14 December at 12:25)
The total number of cases confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 441. This figure includes people who live outside the region.
Infection Control Unit
Länsi-Pohja Hospital District
(current information at 9:53)
The coronavirus situation in the Länsi-Pohja area is still in the acceleration phase.
The coronavirus situation in Haparanda is difficult in terms of infections – residents of Länsi-Pohja are urged to reduce contacts with people over the border
Five cases have been confirmed this week. During week no. 1 (4–10 January), a total of 698 coronavirus tests were taken in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District area, 25 of which were positive. The two-week incidence rate for Länsi-Pohja is currently approximately 70 per 100,000 inhabitants. The focus of the epidemic is still in Tornio, but cases have been confirmed in different parts of the hospital district.
Of last week’s infections, 30 percent originated from Sweden. The Regional Pandemic Working Group urges the inhabitants of the region to reduce the number of contacts with people on the other side of the border. If it is absolutely necessary to meet people, face masks must be worn and social distancing rules adhered to.
The epidemic situation in Länsi-Pohja has weakened over the past few weeks, but the criteria for the virus spreading phase have not yet been met. It has been possible to trace the majority of sources of these infections, and in respect to hospital care, the situation has remained calm. At the moment, no Covid-19 patients are receiving hospital care.
Restrictions in place for February
The regional pandemic working group decided to extend all existing recommendations and restrictions through to 18 February 2021. It is also recommended that Finnish Championship-level team sports be interrupted through to 18 February 2021. Municipalities make their own decisions regarding the use and closure of sports facilities. These restrictions do not concern team sports practices for children and young people.
In February, upper secondary schools traditionally have the penkkarit processions and vanhojentanssit (Day of the New Seniors) proms. In light of the current epidemic situation, the Regional Pandemic Working Group recommends that the penkkarit processions be cancelled. It is also recommended that the proms be rescheduled for some time in the late spring.
Coronavirus vaccinations started in Länsi-Pohja in the beginning of January. To date, vaccinations have been given to special health care and basic health care staff treating coronavirus patients. According to current information, mass vaccinations will commence in February. Information about vaccinations and vaccination schedules will be given at a later date, once schedules become more precise.
Number of positive coronavirus tests in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District by week
28 December 2020 – 3 January 2021 (week no. 53): 25 cases
4–10 January (week no. 1): 25 cases
11–17 January (week no. 2, current week): 5 cases (as of 14 January at 9:53)
The total number of cases confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 400.
Infection Control Unit