Thursday 28 January 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.
Lapland Hospital District
(current information at 12:00)
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 2 and 3, 11–24 January 2021) is 27.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The incidence rate based on one week, i.e. week no. 3 (18–24 January) is 23.1 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.
Changes for travel and crossing the border in order to prevent the new, easily infected coronavirus variants from spreading
14 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed this week.
A total of 2,482 coronavirus tests were conducted last week (week no. 3, 18–24 January). Of these, 2,102 were rapid antigen tests, i.e. approximately 85 percent. The number of positive results accounted for 1.09%.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has updated its guidelines concerning travel and border testing in accordance with the decision issued by the government on 22 January. These decisions will be put into force on Wednesday.
Crossing the border into Finland is permitted only for persons living in Finland and for work-related trips that are considered as being necessary for the security of supply, and for certain special cases. For all people arriving in Finland from nations where the coronavirus incidence rate is greater than 25 per 100,000 inhabitants, it is recommended to adhere to a 14-day self-imposed quarantine. The quarantine period can be shortened upon receiving a negative coronavirus test result. In respect to logistics transportation, the measures will not hinder the transportation of goods and supplies.
If a person crossing the border cannot supply a negative test result issued within 72 hours before entering the country, or a verifiable certificate showing that this person has had the COVID-19 infection within a period of the past six months, he/she will be told to take a coronavirus test when arriving at the border crossing point. If this person remains in Finland for over 72 hours after crossing the border, he/she must take another coronavirus test.
For persons belonging to border communities who live in Finland and those who regularly cross the border into Norway and Sweden for work purposes, it is sufficient that this person holds a certificate that verifiably shows that this person has received a negative coronavirus test result issued within a period of less than seven (7) days before crossing the border. However, it is recommended that all unnecessary travel abroad should be avoided.
The Infection Control Unit of the Lapland Hospital District shall elaborate on the opening times for border crossing points in cooperation with the local municipalities and the Finnish Border Guard. The aim is to apply the new opening time within approximately one week. The Finnish Border Guard, in cooperation with the health care authorities, directs people crossing the border to take a coronavirus test. Coronavirus tests are taken at the health centre testing points that are primarily located close to the border crossing points.
Thanks to the use of rapid antigen tests, teat results are now available much quicker than before Testing activities are extremely important for preventing the spread of the epidemic. The Lapland Hospital District uses rapid antigen tests, which means that the test results are ready very quickly. This means that any self-imposed quarantine can be shorter than earlier, if the result is negative. A coronavirus test must be sought even with the mildest of symptoms. Working in this way, the number of infections can be minimised and the chains of infection can be cut. With proper behaviour, each individual can help to avoid the worsening of the epidemic by ensuring good hand hygiene, maintaining safe distances, and by using a face mask.
Laplanders have played an important role in working to prevent the spreading of the epidemic – the Infection Control Unit would like to thank the people of Lapland for their excellent behaviour
The tracing of infections and cooperation with various actors, such as between enterprises and educational establishments play a very important role in the detection of infections and in the quick breaking of chains of infections. In the main, cooperation has worked very well and the Infection Control Unit of the Lapland Hospital District would like to express its thanks to all actors in Lapland for taking part in effective measures to prevent the spreading of the epidemic.
Exposures in Rovaniemi on Friday 22 January
Friday 22 January In the Ounasvaara Upper Secondary School in Rovaniemi, approximately 50 students and three teachers have become exposed to the coronavirus. Exposure occurred during lessons. Those exposed have been put in quarantine and no further measures will be taken at this stage. Those in quarantine must take a coronavirus test, if they start to experience symptoms.
Exposures may also have occurred at the Liikku gym in Rovaniemi between the times of around 14:40 and 16:30 on Friday 22 January. With these possible exposures, people affected must take a coronavirus test even if experiencing the mildest of symptoms related to the coronavirus.
In addition, people who were visiting the gym during these times should contact the tracing authorities of the City of Rovaniemi in order for them to perform a risk assessment for potential infection. The telephone numbers for the tracing authorities of the City of Rovaniemi are 016 322 4600, 016 322 4610 and 016 322 4620.
These numbers are answered from Mondays to Thursdays between the times of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. And on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Number of positive coronavirus tests in the Lapland Hospital District by week
Week no. 2 (11–17 January): 5 cases
Week no. 3 (18–24 January): 26 cases
Week no. 4 (current week, 25–31 January): 14 cases (as of 28 December at 12:23)
The total number of cases confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 483. This figure includes people who live outside the region.
Infection Control Unit
Länsi-Pohja Hospital District
(current information at 10:17)
The coronavirus situation in the Länsi-Pohja area is still in the acceleration phase.
Any breaking of quarantine orders stipulated by the Communicable Disease Physician is punishable by law – in the worst-case scenario, infecting someone else could be fatal
During the current week, the number of new cases to date is 10. During week no. 3 (18–24 January), a total of 797 coronavirus tests were taken in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District area, 17 of which were positive.
The Länsi-Pohja Hospital District would like to remind people that any breaking of quarantine orders stipulated by the Communicable Disease Physician is punishable by law and can even have very serious consequences. As a generally hazardous communicable disease, if quarantine is breached, the coronavirus infection can infect others, such as senior citizens, and the disease can even lead to fatality.
Mass vaccinations will not commence until March
Infection tracing has been very successful in the area and it has been possible to trace around 85 percent of all infections. In addition, in respect to hospital care, the situation has calmed down after last week.
National restrictions on border-crossing traffic have been tightened today. Only necessary, work-related cross-border traffic is permitted. Those crossing the border for work purposes must take a coronavirus test on a weekly basis, or provide verifiable documentation that shows they have recovered from the coronavirus during the past six months.
The Regional Pandemic Working Group would like to remind everyone that, even if you experience the slightest of symptoms, you must take a coronavirus test. Anyone experiencing symptoms must stay in self-imposed quarantine before taking the test and while waiting for the test results, and all outside social contacts must be avoided. In order to be able to get the epidemic under control, it is vitally important to follow quarantine rules.
Vaccinations are being given, but slowly
Vaccinations are being rolled out slowly, as Finland has received deliveries of vaccines slower than predicted. So far, health care employees and residents of care homes have been given the vaccination. Vaccinations for home care residents are underway or commencing. Municipalities inform about vaccinations on their websites.
Due to the minimal deliveries of these vaccinations, mass vaccinations will not be able to start in the Länsi-Pohja municipalities until March. There will be widespread communication about the commencement of vaccinations as soon as the schedule is confirmed. Municipalities are prepared for commencing vaccinations quickly.
Restrictions remain in place
The Länsi-Pohja Regional Pandemic Working Group recommends that no religious confirmation camps be organised for the spring break, rather these should be rescheduled for a later date. In respect to the upcoming matriculation examinations, the Working Group decided that by adhering to coronavirus safety instructions (face mask, social distancing), students with mild symptoms can attend these examinations, if they provide a negative coronavirus test result.
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.
– Länsi-Pohja Regional Pandemic Working Group
Number of positive coronavirus tests in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District by week
Week no. 2 (11–17 January): 15 cases
Week no. 3 (18–24 January): 17 cases
Week no. 4 (current week, 25–31 January): 10 cases (as of 28 January at 10:17)
The total number of cases confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 437.
Infection Control Unit