Thursday 4 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:
Lapland Hospital District
(current information at 12:00)
The incidence rate based on the last two weeks (week numbers 3 and 4, 18–31 January) is 42.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The incidence rate based on one week, i.e. week no. 4 (25–31 January) is 18.8 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.
In the future, the booster vaccination for all vaccines approved for sale will be given after 12 weeks – all booster vaccination appointments already agreed are to be cancelled from next week onwards
During this week, six cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District. Four of these infections were confirmed in Rovaniemi, with two of these infections being related to an earlier infection chain with people who were already in quarantine. The remaining two cases were in Kittilä, one of which was a person who does not live in the area, and the other was a foreigner.
A total of 22 cases were confirmed in the Lapland Hospital District during week no. 4 (25–31 January), five of which were with people not living in the area. Although numerous new infections were confirmed in Kolari, these were mainly related to a single large chain of infections. This being the case, no acceleration of the epidemic has been confirmed for Kolari, and the entire Lapland Hospital District is still on the base level.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare decided that in the future, the booster vaccination for all vaccinations approved for sale in Finland, i.e. the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, will be given 12 weeks following the first vaccination. Instructions are being prepared immediately, but starting no later than next week, all appointments already made for receiving the booster vaccination will be cancelled. By working in this way, there will be enough vaccinations available for vaccinating people over the age of 80.
Recommendation to temporarily interrupt short-term student exchanges
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommends all short-term student exchanges heading for Finland or abroad to be interrupted. A short-term student exchange means course with a short duration, such as intensive courses with a duration of a few weeks, language and cultural exchanges, and other exchange periods that are shorter than one term.
The reason for this recommendation is that one natural part of a student exchange is the gathering of students, which can cause the risk of infections spreading. Courses should primarily be organised remotely, which means that student exchanges with a short duration involves social interaction between students. In many other nations, the coronavirus situation is clearly worse than in Finland.
The widespread exposures in Jyväskylä and exceptionally widespread coronavirus infections have indicated that the gatherings of students can pose a risk for the acceleration of the epidemic.
Due to the emergence of coronavirus variants, it is advised to avoid all travel to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland (Eire), including in the future Portugal and Brazil. In respect to other countries, it is a global recommendation that all non-essential travel should be avoided during the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland)
Number of positive coronavirus tests in the Lapland Hospital District by week
Week no. 3 (18–24 January): 28 cases
Week no. 4 (25–31 January): 22 cases
Week no. 5 (current week): 6 cases (as of 4 February 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 499. This figure includes people who live outside the region.
Infection Control Unit
Länsi-Pohja Hospital District
(current information at 11:36)
The coronavirus situation in the Länsi-Pohja area is still in the acceleration phase.
With the border testing measures put in place last week, infections are found easier
During week no. 4 (18–24 January), a total of 864 coronavirus tests were taken in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District area, 29 of which were positive. A total of 16 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed this week.
Last week, mass testing was commenced at the border crossing point in Tornio. Implementing these measures has confirmed more infections than earlier, as those crossing the border have mainly been symptom-free and are therefore not otherwise tested. The majority of these new infections have been confirmed with people crossing the border who live in Sweden. To date, no new variants of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Länsi-Pohja. The situation has also remained calm in respect to hospital care. The epidemic is still in the acceleration stage in the area.
Coronavirus vaccination schedules changing – in the future, the booster vaccination will be given 12 weeks after receiving the first vaccination
According to the recommendation issued by THL yesterday, the coronavirus vaccinations planned for February in Länsi-Pohja will be rescheduled. Contrary to earlier plans, the batch of vaccines that arrived yesterday will be used for vaccinating new patients, instead of being used for booster vaccinations.
The time between receiving the first vaccination and the booster has been extended to 12 weeks throughout the country, as the first vaccination already provides significant protection against catching serious coronavirus infection.
The municipalities in the Länsi-Pohja area are currently handling vaccinations for people in full-time institutionalised or home care. The next vaccinations are planned for all persons over the age of 80 years who live at home. There are differences between municipalities in the progress made and implementation of vaccinations. People are urged to regularly check vaccination information provided on the websites of their local authorities and by the local media. Municipalities will provide information about vaccinations during next week.
We will issue widespread announcements regarding the vaccination of other age groups as vaccinations progress. We are asking the public to be patient, as the current demand for vaccination appointments is putting large pressure on the health care service.
Restrictions also apply to sports
The current coronavirus restrictions and recommendations are valid through to 18 February 2021. The next time for revision of the restrictions and recommendations is scheduled for the next meeting of the Regional Pandemic Working Group on 10 February 2021. In the current situation of the epidemic, it will not be possible to ease any of these restrictions.
On the basis of a decision issued by the Regional State Administrative Agency of Lapland, all public events and meetings with more than ten people are banned in the Länsi-Pohja area through to 18 February 2021. The Regional State Administrative Agency elaborated on the definition of a public event to include a variety of mass sports events, even if these events do not have spectators present. More detailed information available from: Regional State Administrative Agency
Group or team leisure activities taking place indoors for people over the age of 18 are recommended to be discontinued until 18 February 2021. This recommendation also applies to Finnish Championship team sports. Municipalities make their own decisions regarding the use and closure of sports facilities.
There are no restrictions applying to pastimes for people under the age of 18, but the coronavirus instructions (face mask, safe distancing, hand hygiene) must continue to be followed as before.
Number of positive coronavirus tests in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District by week
Week no. 3 (18–24 January): 17 cases
Week no. 4 (25–31 January): 29 cases
Week no. 5 (current week): 16 cases (as of 4 February at 11:36)
The total number of cases confirmed in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District on the basis of coronavirus tests conducted at testing stations is 472.
Infection Control Unit