Thursday 21 January 2021
The translated version of the coronavirus review for Lapland is published once a week.
Everyone in Lapland must follow the safety instructions and take a coronavirus test, even if minor symptoms related to the infection are experienced.
Lapland Hospital District
(current information at 15:35)
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 still in the baseline phase of the coronavirus.
The incidence rate based on the last two weeks (week numbers 1 and 2, 4–17 January) is 21.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The incidence rate based on one week, week no. 2 (11–17 January) is 4.3 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.
People entering the country who test positive for the coronavirus will also be tested for the new coronavirus variants
Last week (week no. 2, 11–17 January) a total of five new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District. Two of these new cases were confirmed in Kolari, one in Pello, one in Kittilä, and one in Rovaniemi. A total of 2,301 coronavirus tests were taken, of which 1,749 were rapid antigen tests. The number of positive results accounted for 0.22%.
12 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed this week. Of these new cases, seven were confirmed in Kolari, three in Rovaniemi, one in Pello, and one in Kittilä. Despite the number of new infections, there are no signs that the epidemic would be accelerating at this stage.
The vaccine manufacturer Pfizer-Biontech is reducing the earlier agreed number of vaccines to be supplied by 50 percent. For people who have already received the vaccine manufactured by this company, the second vaccination, i.e. the booster dose is slightly delayed at 4–6 weeks after receiving the first dose of the vaccination. Despite this delay, the vaccination guidelines for this vaccination will be met.
Vaccinations continue in the Lapland Hospital District. In every municipality that belongs to the jurisdiction of the Lapland Hospital District, vaccinations are being given to people in 24-hour care, home care, and to those over the age of 80 years.
The coronavirus situation on the other side of the border is cause for concern
The situation has remained calm in the Lapland Hospital District, and the number of new cases has even dropped compared to earlier. However, the Swedish localities on the border with Finland have rather high numbers of cases. In Haparanda in particular, the situation continues to worsen.
The 14-day incidence rate per hundred thousand inhabitants in Haparanda is approximately 1,250, in Övertorneå approximately 535, in Kiruna approximately 400, and in Pajala approximately 264. (information as of Monday 18 January)
The incidence rate for Norrbotten Province, based on the last two weeks is approximately 473 per 100,000 inhabitants. The corresponding incidence rate in the Lapland Hospital District is currently approximately 19 per 100,000 inhabitants, and in Länsi-Pohja approximately 57 per 100,000 inhabitants. (information as of Monday 18 January)
In order to detect the new variants of the coronavirus, all persons entering Finland from abroad are encouraged to take a coronavirus test as they enter the country and three days after entering the country. If the result of the test is positive, the sample is sent for more elaborate genetic analysis, in order to identify possible virus variants, i.e. mutations of the coronavirus.
Rapid antigen tests have also been used in Rovaniemi
Mehiläinen and Terveystalo have started using rapid antigen tests for the coronavirus. The results of these rapid tests are received within six hours. The on-duty emergency clinic of the Lapland Hospital District in the Lapland Central Hospital has started to use the rapid antigen tests together with PCR tests.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Lapland Hospital District by week
Week no. 1 (4–10 January): 20 cases
Week no. 2 (11–17 January): 5 cases
Week no. 3 (current week): 12 cases (as of 21 January at 15:35)
The total number of cases for the Lapland Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 455. This figure also includes persons living outside the area.
Infection Control Unit
Länsi-Pohja Hospital District
(current information at 9:27)
The coronavirus situation in the Länsi-Pohja area is still in the acceleration phase.
No coronavirus variants have been confirmed in Länsi-Pohja
During the current week, the number of new cases to date is 14. To date, no new variants of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Länsi-Pohja.
During week no. 2 (11–17 January), a total of 15 new cases were confirmed. A total of 664 coronavirus tests were taken in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District area, of which 15 were positive. Of all the new infections last week, 60% came from Sweden. In addition, 13% of these infections were further infections from cross-border coronavirus infections. 13% of infections came from Oulu. However, what is positive is that 30% of all cases originated from people who were quarantined or in self-imposed quarantine. In addition, only in one case was the origin of the infection totally unknown.
There were 80 new cases in Haparanda last week and the incidence rate based on the last two weeks is 1,300 per 100,000 inhabitants. The corresponding figure for the entire Norrbotten Province is 400 per 100,000 inhabitants. The corresponding figure for Länsi-Pohja is 56 per 100,000 inhabitants. (information from Tuesday 18 January 2021)
Visiting or shopping in Haparanda is currently a significant risk in respect to contracting the coronavirus.
The need for hospitalisation due to coronavirus infection has increased at an alarming rate in Länsi-Pohja. The risk of needing hospital care increases significantly after the age of around 70 years.
Senior citizens in particular must adhere to all coronavirus safety guidelines. All people are advised to reduce all kinds of physical interaction with others, as infections are not only increasing due to work-related scenarios, but also due to close circle infections, such as various visits to different places and friends.
Restrictions and recommendations
The current coronavirus restrictions and recommendations for the area are valid through to 18 February 2021. All recommendations and restrictions currently applied in the Länsi-Pohja area are listed here and on the Hospital District website.
In addition, the Regional Pandemic Working Group recommends that all secondary schools use remote learning in accordance with the prevailing epidemic situation. It is recommended that no more than ten (10) persons at any one time participate in face-to-face learning sessions. All face-to-face learning sessions must adhere to the coronavirus safety instructions and assurances must be made that sufficient social distancing is adhered to and face masks worn.
Municipalities are prepared for mass vaccinations
Vaccinations have commenced well in the municipalities of the area. To date, health care employees have received the vaccination and the giving of vaccinations in care homes has started.
Municipalities are also prepared to commence mass vaccinations for municipal residents in the beginning of February. However, the vaccination schedule will become more detailed once is is known how many vaccinations are obtained for Finland and the municipalities in the area. Municipal authorities inform their residents of vaccination places and making appointments, once the schedule has been confirmed. There will be widespread communication of the commencement of public vaccinations.
Preparations have been made for the commencement of mass testing on the border crossing point of Tornio and Haparanda. Voluntary coronavirus testing for people crossing the border will commence on the border crossing point on 25 January 2021. For this purpose, the taking of coronavirus tests has included the increased placement of shipping containers and more employees have been recruited.
Mass testing is only intended for people crossing the national border. Otherwise, the coronavirus testing point in Tornio operates on the basis of making appointments. Instructions for making the appointment can be found on YouTube.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District by week
Week no. 1 (4–10 January): 25 cases
Week no. 2 (11–17 January): 15 cases
Week no. 3 (current week): 14 cases (as of 21 January at 11:24)
The total number of cases confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 424.
Infection Control Unit