Wednesday 23 February 2022

Links about the current situation:

Lapland Hospital District

(Information as of 23 February)
The Lapland Hospital District no longer reports the number of new coronavirus infections. In the future, the status of the departmental workload will be communicated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This figure includes potential intensive care patients as well as patients admitted for other reasons who have later been found to have the coronavirus.

The incidence rate based on the last two weeks (7–17 February) is 2,308.6 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The incidence rate based on one week (14–17 February) is 830.0 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.  

The Lapland Hospital District is in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

Seven coronavirus patients receiving hospital ward treatment

At present, seven patients are being treated in the Lapland Central Hospital who have the coronavirus infection.

Review of the situation issued by the Coronavirus Coordination Group of the Lapland Hospital District on 18 February 2022

In the Lapland Hospital District, the coronavirus situation remains stable. The number of new infections per week has remained around 1,500 for several weeks. The pressure put on hospitals caused by the coronavirus has not changed. Nine patients are currently being treated in the hospital.

In accordance with the national strategy, the focus of disease management in Lapland will also shift from extensive tracing and testing to further strengthening vaccination, and forwarding health safety policies through communications. Based on the test results, the ordering of quarantine or isolation has been abandoned in the main and the importance of home testing in the assessment one’s own health is emphasised.   

According to the code of conduct of the Lapland Hospital District, the criteria for public COVID-19 testing are primarily medical reasons. Testing is focused on symptomatic people belonging to risk groups who have been assessment by a healthcare professional, and symptomatic social and healthcare professionals who work with patients/customers, including the patients and residents of their respective units.  

The Coronavirus Coordination Group recommends that persons of basic health with COVID-19 symptoms should take a home test for COVID-19.  If the test result is positive, it is recommended to stay at home for five days after the first onset of symptoms. In order to ensure the sufficiency of public health staff, the Coronavirus Coordination Group recommends that employers should now also accept a five-day self-declaration for sick leave.

Due to COVID-19, as with other diseases, public health services are generally provided on the basis of an assessment of medical needs. On the municipal level, the situation assessment shows that there may be differences in practices, which municipalities will report separately.

As usual, all the current recommendations and restrictions valid for Lapland can be found on the website.

Jukka Mattila
Medical Director    
Tel.  +358 50 572 6277

Markku Broas
Infectious Disease Specialist
Tel. +358 50 347 2387

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): This is how to use a face mask correctly 

Current vaccination coverage (updated on 23 February)

For those aged 18 years or olderLapland Hospital DistrictLänsi-Pohja Hospital DistrictWhole of Finland
1st dose89.9%89.2%88.7%
2nd dose87.3%86.6%86.2%
3nd dose61.5%60.4%60.4%
Vaccination coverage in the population for people aged 18 years or over
Whole populationLapland Hospital DistrictLänsi-Pohja Hospital DistrictWhole of Finland
1st dose81.6%79.5%79.4%
2nd dose77.0%75.4%75.2%
3nd dose51.0%49.4%49.2%
Vaccination coverage for the whole population


Länsi-Pohja Hospital District

(Information as of 23 February)
The coronavirus review for the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District is mainly published on Wednesdays. The hospital district will no longer publish the numbers of new infections, but in the future, the epidemic situation and its development will be monitored according to the strain put on hospitals.

The Länsi-Pohja Hospital District is currently in the community transmission phase of the epidemic.

The pressure put on hospitals continues to increase, the peak of the disease has not yet been reached

In the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District, the epidemic situation is intensifying and the disease is spreading freely. The COVID-19 testing activity is sometimes congested and reliable incidence rates are no longer available. Over the past two weeks of there have been less than a thousand new official positive infections per week. Calculated on the basis of this, the incidence rate for two weeks is more than 3,000/100 000. The proportion of positive test results has increased strongly and is currently 45%. This figure reflects the fact that the actual prevalence of the disease is considerably higher than the official figures.

The hospital pressure has risen by over 30% since last week. There are currently 30 COVID-19 patients receiving hospital care. Of these, there are 10 coronavirus patients receiving treatment in the central hospital and around 20 other coronavirus patients in four health centres. Intensive care is also needed.

Due to the increased hospital workload, measures have been launched today to transform part of the Kemi City Hospital, i.e. the Sauvosaari Hospital, into a unit that will treat patients with COVID-19.

Persons receiving treatment in hospital are elderly people with serious basic illnesses and/or people who have not been vaccinated.

At yesterday’s meeting, the infectious disease physicians of the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District have expressed their concern about the epidemic situation. It is particularly regrettable that the rate of vaccination take up in the population has slowed down, as only a few people have sought the third booster vaccination. The third vaccine dose is strongly recommended for all people over 18 years of age as it significantly reduces the risk of hospitalisation. In addition, the infectious disease physicians emphasise individual discretion for participating in different events, because there are no actual restrictions on public gatherings and events. In particular, those belonging to risk groups and people who have not been vaccinated should seek good protection by means of adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines and avoiding high-risk events.

The management of the situation is affected by the high incidence of social and health care staff who have contracted the COVID-19 virus. Due to staff shortages, the quarantine practices in general and the quarantine practices employed for social and health care staff in the Länsi-Pohja Hospital District will end today. The isolation of social and health care employees who test positive for COVID-19 will continue for the time being.

The pressure put on hospitals is expected to increase further, as the peak of the epidemic is estimated to have not yet been reached in the region. The estimated time for the epidemic peak is in the end of February to the beginning of March. The disease situation in Länsi-Pohja is expected to continue to be difficult in March, based on experience obtained from other regions. Towards the end of March, the situation is likely to get better. 

The coronavirus safety guidelines, the extensive face mask recommendation, and the remote working recommendation are still valid. In addition, the Regional State Administrative Agency of Lapland has been asked to continue the COVID-19 safety measures for different events under Section 58(d) in the Länsi-Pohja area for March 2022.