Soite’s area remains in the accel­er­a­tion phase of the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic – infec­tions are now occur­ring in an old­er age group

The Cen­tral Ostro­both­nia region­al COVID-19 author­i­ty task group met on Wednes­day 15th of Sep­tem­ber 2021 to assess the region­al coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion and rec­om­men­da­tions. The coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion has dete­ri­o­rat­ed in the Soite area and infec­tions now occur in old­er age groups. This epi­dem­ic main­ly spreads among unvac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple. As the soci­ety opens up and removes restric­tions, it becomes dif­fi­cult to avoid coro­n­avirus infec­tions — the virus is sig­nif­i­cant­ly safer to encounter when you are vac­ci­nat­ed. Soite’s area remains in the accel­er­a­tion phase of the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic and the region­al rec­om­men­da­tions remain unchanged.

Over the past 14 days, a total of 55 coro­n­avirus cas­es have been con­firmed in Soite’s area and the inci­dence of infec­tions dur­ing 14 days is cur­rent­ly 71/100,000 cit­i­zens. Last week, a total of 1,800 coro­n­avirus tests were tak­en, and the per­cent­age of pos­i­tive tests has risen to 2 per­cent. 75% of the chains of infec­tions can be traced. Two patients are cur­rent­ly being treat­ed at the Cen­tral Ostro­both­nia Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal because of COVID-19

Coro­n­avirus infec­tions are main­ly occur­ring among unvac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple and peo­ple who have only recent­ly been vac­ci­nat­ed. In the Soite region, coro­n­avirus infec­tions are cur­rent­ly occur­ing among old­er age groups than pre­vi­ous­ly: infec­tions are most preva­lent in peo­ple aged 30 to 39 (28%) and peo­ple aged 50 to 59 (28%). The aver­age age of those infect­ed has risen to 41 years. The major­i­ty of infec­tions were infec­tions that occurred with­in the fam­i­ly. The sec­ond largest source of infec­tions was work­places. We there­fore urge employ­ers and man­agers in the area to steer employ­ees to a coro­n­avirus test if the employ­ees expe­ri­ence even minor res­pi­ra­to­ry symp­toms. While wait­ing for the result of the coro­n­avirus test, you must stay at home.

New guide­lines for coro­n­avirus testing

The Min­istry of Social Affairs and Health has updat­ed its guide­lines for coro­n­avirus test­ing. From now on, coro­n­avirus test­ing will focus pri­mar­i­ly on test­ing indi­vid­u­als who have been exposed to the virus, unvac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple who have been exposed to the virus and are expe­ri­enc­ing symp­toms, and vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple who still con­tin­ue to be at risk of seri­ous ill­ness from COVID-19.

The Min­istry of Social Affairs and Health no longer rec­om­mends exten­sive test­ing of asymp­to­matic per­sons who have received two dos­es of the vac­cine. Test­ing is pri­mar­i­ly rec­om­mend­ed for those who have symp­toms but have not received any vac­cines. How­ev­er, coro­n­avirus test­ing will still be avail­able for any­one with symp­toms indica­tive of the coro­n­avirus dis­ease or who are sus­pect­ed of hav­ing a coro­n­avirus infection.

Chil­dren no longer have to be test­ed because of a mild cold. Tests are rec­om­mend­ed for peo­ple under 12 years of age if they have symp­toms and it has been con­firmed that they have been exposed to coro­n­avirus infec­tion, and if there are peo­ple in the fam­i­ly over 16 years of age who do not have full vac­cine protection.

In accor­dance with the Ministry’s new test­ing strat­e­gy, test­ing will be reduced to allow health care staff to focus more on oth­er patients beside those who are expe­ri­enc­ing symp­toms caused by the coronavirus.

The author­i­ty group empha­sizes that those who have not yet been vac­ci­nat­ed should seek out coro­n­avirus test­ing with­out delay, even if they only have very mild symp­toms indica­tive of a coro­n­avirus infec­tion. We also remind you that the coro­n­avirus test result should be await­ed at home and in quar­an­tine so as not to poten­tial­ly expose oth­ers to the coro­n­avirus, for exam­ple in the work­place. Those who have received two dos­es of the vac­cine are test­ed if the symp­toms are severe, if the per­son has been sig­nif­i­cant­ly exposed to the virus or if the per­son works in the health and social care sec­tor. Soite fol­lows the Finnish Insti­tute for Health and Welfare’s (THL) nation­al guide­lines (in Finnish) for coro­n­avirus testing.

It is safer to encounter the coro­n­avirus if you are vaccinated

The author­i­ty task group notes that employ­ers in the area should be pre­pared for employ­ees hav­ing to be in quar­an­tine and on sick leave. This applies espe­cial­ly to unvac­ci­nat­ed staff. The coro­n­avirus will cir­cu­late in the pop­u­la­tion for a long time to come, and vac­ci­na­tions are the only way to pre­vent infec­tions and, in par­tic­u­lar, seri­ous forms of coro­n­avirus infec­tion that require hospitalization.

We strong­ly rec­om­mend that you get vac­ci­nat­ed against the coro­n­avirus, as it will be dif­fi­cult to avoid the dis­ease in the future. The soci­ety is open­ing up and restric­tions relat­ed to the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic are being removed nation­wide, but the coro­n­avirus is not dis­ap­pear­ing. It is sig­nif­i­cant­ly safer to encounter the coro­n­avirus if you are vac­ci­nat­ed. The vac­cine itself is asso­ci­at­ed with sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er risks than a coro­n­avirus infec­tion. Link: Infor­ma­tion about the coro­n­avirus vaccination

The author­i­ty task group’s decisions

As per the author­i­ty task group’s deci­sion, the Soite area remains in the accel­er­a­tion phase of the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic. The region­al rec­om­men­da­tions remain unchanged. All region­al coro­n­avirus reg­u­la­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions are list­ed on Soite’s coro­n­avirus web­site:

We still rec­om­mend that you avoid gath­er­ings, fol­low hygiene guide­lines for pre­vent­ing infec­tions, and use a face mask in accor­dance with region­al rec­om­men­da­tions.

The region­al COVID-19 author­i­ty task group will hold its next meet­ing on Wednes­day 22nd of Sep­tem­ber 2021 to assess the region­al coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion and rec­om­men­da­tions. If there are changes in the region­al coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion, the author­i­ty task group will con­vene if nec­es­sary. The author­i­ty task group con­sists of experts from the Finnish Insti­tute for Health and Wel­fare (THL), the Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tive Agency, the Cen­tre for Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment, Trans­port and the Envi­ron­ment and Soite.


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