Coronavirus epidemic in 2021
On this page you will find updated information on the coronavirus and the epidemic from the perspective of the Hospital District of Southwest Finland. The page also contains instructions for applying for the corona test, information on visits to Tyks hospitals, and links to the district municipalities' own corona pages.
Situation in the Hospital District of Southwest Finland
Updated 22 January 2021
Southwest Finland is still in the spreading phase of the coronavirus epidemic. Although the number of corona infections is declining, the epidemic situation does not allow the recommendations to be mitigated.
The incidence of the corona in Southwest Finland has remained below one hundred and was 85.2 per 100,000 inhabitants on Monday, January 18. The number of infections from related parties and the same households is declining slightly. In contrast, the number of infections imported from abroad has remained high. 15–20 per cent of the province's infections come from abroad.
Corona testing volumes in Southwest Finland have risen, but are not yet at pre-Christmas levels. The proportion of positives is currently 3.0 percent. 76 per cent of the sources of infection can be identified, which shows that the tracing of infections in municipalities is successful.
Tuesday 19.1. the corona prevention group decided to continue the recommendations set out below until 7 February 2021. Particular emphasis is now placed on adhering to mask recommendations and the importance of maintaining safety intervals.
You can follow the corona virus situation on the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare's (THL) website.
The Hospital District delivers the majority of vaccines upon arrival to the municipalities in southwest Finland, which are responsible for performing the vaccinations. In southwest Finland, the number of vaccine doses distributed to the municipalities depends on the population of the respective municipalities.
Vaccinations are given in accordance with the Government decree and THL's draft vaccination schedule. The occupational health care system in the Hospital District of Southwest Finland has vaccinated about 3000 healthcare professionals against covid-19 by January 22nd 2021. Municipalities of Southwest Finland have reported to the hospital district that they have so far given a total of about 3500 vaccines (after 2 weeks).
The data of the vaccinations given are reported compiledly in the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) vaccination register.
Recommendations for Southwest Finland
All recommendations are valid in all of Southwest Finland until 7 February 2021.
- The recommendation for working remotely is valid in Southwest Finland for the time being in accordance with the Government's decision-in-principle (15 October).
- In the workplace, working remotely is recommended where work tasks allow and work arrangements are promoted to reduce close contacts and other risk factors in the workplace.
- On 26 November, the regional corona prevention group of Southwest Finland recommended that all employers carefully reconsider the possibility of switching to working remotely even more than at present.
Face masks and safety gaps
Face masks are recommended in the hospital district of Southwest Finland in accordance
with THL's recommendation. Face masks are recommended for everyone over 12 years of age according to THL's announcement (8.1.2021, in Finnish).
In addition, the regional corona prevention group recommends that in all customer service situations, staff should wear a mask, including outdoors.
See also from Föli's website what changes does the coronavirus cause in Turku region traffic and other services.
New modified coronavirus variants infect and spread faster than the previous coronavirus variant. Therefore, THL recommends a safety distance of more than two meters to other people.
Protecting the elderly and at-risk groups
- The elderly and at-risk groups have the right to meet their relatives. Especially in 24-hour care units, appointments must be secured. However, the number of visitors must be significantly limited.
- When people from care units and risk groups visit in private homes, recommendations on restrictions on the number of people at private events should be taken into account.
- Special attention should be paid to hygiene instructions, safety gaps and the use of masks with the elderly and those at risk.
Organization of teaching
Universities and colleges
- In universities and colleges, distance learning or a hybrid model alternating between distance and contact education is recommended so that the necessary education can be implemented as contact education.
- In upper secondary schools and vocational education, a hybrid model alternating between distance and contact education is recommended so that the necessary education can be implemented as contact education, e.g. final courses for high school graduates and practical training in vocational studies.
- Comprehensive education can go back to contact education.
- In lower secondary schools, students are recommended to use masks.
- In primary schools grades 6 are recommended to use masks.
- In primary schools grades 4–5 are recommended to consider masks, especially in difficult epidemic areas.
Pre-primary education (school-based) and early childhood education:
- In particular, care must be taken to ensure that there are no contacts between the various groups.
- Staff should wear face masks or alternatively a full face visor. It is recommended that those working with the youngest children use protective equipment whenever possible.
More about public spaces in Turku, hobbies and the organization of teaching.
Regarding the closure of public and private premises, the prevention group recommends:
- Libraries should be organized in such a way that safety gaps can be maintained. Libraries offer a limited service, such as short-term lending for a limited number of visitors and the use of public computers for essential transactions. Reading rooms will be closed and events agreed in libraries will be cancelled or carried out remotely. If this is not possible, libraries should be closed.
- Youth facilities may be open if those doing so can maintain adequate safety gaps. The activities of youth facilities will be reduced, ie not cooking, for example, but the opportunity to be in a safe place will be offered. At the same time, one provides information to young people about the coronavirus and how to apply for a test, and supports endurance. If this is not possible, youth centers should be closed. The use of a face mask in youth facilities is especially recommended for young people of upper school age and older.
- The number of clients in cultural facilities and museums must be strictly limited so that they correspond to the AVI's limit on the number of people at indoor public events. If this is not possible, cultural facilities and museums should be closed.
- Vocational and civic colleges and basic art education for adults is still implemented as distance learning.
- Indoor playgrounds and playgrounds will be closed.
- The lounges of the shopping centers will be closed to avoid stays.
It is recommended that private operators take similar action.
- Private events for more than ten people should not be held.
Regarding the restrictions on hobbies, the prevention group recommends:
It must be possible to actually follow the safety intervals in all hobby activities.
- All indoor hobby activities for adults are still considered suspended. The break for adult team sports and contact and martial arts continues accordingly.
- Hobbies for children and young people can continue (under the age of 20) with the following limitations:
- Matching and competition activities for persons under 20 years in indoor sports facilities must be suspended.
- Training on shifts reserved for the activities of persons under 20 years must be carried out at safety intervals and without close contact. This means refraining from close contact in all training. Outdoor conditions can be utilized in training.
- Sports events and competitions that cross the provincial borders of Southwest Finland should not be organized. The recommendation applies to indoor and outdoor sports and sporting events for individuals and teams of all ages.
- However, training and competition opportunities for competitive and elite sports are secured for professional sports based on a license agreement or sports agreement, as defined by the Ministry of Education, national team activities, Olympic Committee support athletes and OKM scholarship athletes.
- Due to their nature, sporting events and competitions are a source of infection and mass exposure. When a large number of athletes and audiences from across the country gather for the same event, the risk of mass exposure is considerable.
- Outdoor sports venues can be kept open for personal use.
It is recommended that private operators take similar action.
Unnecessary travel to other provinces in the spreading phase and from them to Southwest Finland should be avoided.
Visiting the hospital during the coronavirus epidemic
Visits to patients in treatment will be prohibited from 17.12.2020. The ban applies to all hospitals at Turku University Hospital (Tyks) with the following exceptions:
- psychiatric hospital
- palliative care units, and
- pediatric ward and maternity support persons.
In childbirth there can be two support persons in the delivery room and one support person in the maternity ward. There is no time limit for support persons visits to departments.
Relatives of critically ill patients are also allowed to visit the units as agreed with the staff.
At emergency and appointments, the escort may be present throughout the visit if the patient's condition so requires. You can also come to the hospital to pick up the patient.
Visits to the above units are permitted in accordance with the current guidelines of the VSSHP:
- Visits take place only in under the guidance of unit staff.
- Only healthy and completely asymptomatic visitors can come.
- Visitors and incoming patients should wear a face mask (take your own mask with you).
- The number of visitors is generally two visitors per patient.
- Visitors are kindly requested to confirm the suitability of their visit in advance from that unit.
- Guests and escorts should use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving the hospital, ward, and patient room.