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01.12.2021

Soite remains an area with com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion — remote work and using pro­tec­tive masks are impor­tant to pre­vent the spread of infections

The Cen­tral Ostro­both­n­ian region­al COVID-19 author­i­ty task group gath­ered on Wednes­day 1st of Decem­ber 2021 to assess the region­al coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion and rec­om­men­da­tions. The coro­n­avirus inci­dence is decreas­ing, but the sit­u­a­tion is still seri­ous. Soite’s area is clas­si­fied as an area with com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion of the coro­n­avirus and region­al restric­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions remain unchanged. The author­i­ty task group would like to remind every­one of the impor­tance of using a pro­tec­tive face mask and to work from home when possible.

The epi­dem­ic sit­u­a­tion is still seri­ous in the Soite area, but for the past three weeks, the num­ber of infec­tions and the inci­dence rate have been decreas­ing. The inci­dence of infec­tions dur­ing 14 days is cur­rent­ly 138/100,000 res­i­dents in the entire Soite area. A fair­ly large amount of coro­n­avirus tests are tak­en in the Soite area, but late­ly the num­ber of tests has been decreas­ing. Last week a total of 1,175 coro­n­avirus tests were tak­en, of which 3.7 per­cent were pos­i­tive. Last week, 64% of infec­tions were con­firmed in per­sons already in quar­an­tine. Two COVID-19 patients are cur­rent­ly being treat­ed at Cen­tral Ostro­both­nia cen­tral hos­pi­tal. There is still a high risk of get­ting a coro­n­avirus infec­tion in the Soite area.

Coro­n­avirus infec­tions are still main­ly con­cen­trat­ed to those who have not been vac­ci­nat­ed or who have not received a com­plete series of vac­ci­na­tions. Infec­tions are still spread­ing main­ly among chil­dren and young peo­ple as well as their par­ents. Last week, the major­i­ty of infec­tions was record­ed among chil­dren younger than 10 years and per­sons aged 10 to 19. The major­i­ty of infec­tions were infec­tions that occurred with­in the fam­i­ly. Sources of infec­tions have also includ­ed meet­ings with friends and acquain­tances as well as workplaces.

The author­i­ty task group would like to remind every­one that you should not leave your home if you have even only mild symp­toms of a res­pi­ra­to­ry infec­tion. It is rec­om­mend­ed that those who have not been vac­ci­nat­ed or who have received only one dose of the vac­cine seek out coro­n­avirus test­ing with­out delay and even if they have only very mild symp­toms of a res­pi­ra­to­ry infection.

The author­i­ty task group notes that cor­rect­ly per­formed anti­gen home tests are a good sup­ple­ment when test­ing for coro­n­avirus.  Home tests are suit­able for those peo­ple who have symp­toms of a res­pi­ra­to­ry infec­tion, such as a fever, a cold or a cough. A pos­i­tive result for a home test should still always be con­firmed with a coro­n­avirus test per­formed by health care pro­fes­sion­als. Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about coro­n­avirus home tests can be found on the Finnish Insti­tute for Health and Welfare’s website

Soite’s area is still being clas­si­fied as an area with com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion. The region­al rec­om­men­da­tions remain unchanged. Cur­rent reg­u­la­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions regard­ing the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic with­in Soite’s area are list­ed on Soite’s coro­na web­site: https://korona.soite.fi/en/recommendations/ 

The author­i­ty task group would espe­cial­ly like to remind every­one of the impor­tance of the exten­sive facial mask rec­om­men­da­tion and that facial mask use is rec­om­mend­ed for the low­er sec­ondary school stu­dents (grades 7 to 9) as well as at upper sec­ondary insti­tutes and high­er edu­ca­tion institutions.

It is rec­om­mend­ed that remote work in the form of a hybrid mod­el should still be used at work­places in accor­dance with the employer’s guide­lines. The hybrid mod­el for remote work means that employ­ees take turns to work from home part of the time, as far as this is pos­si­ble, so that not every­one is at the work place simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. The author­i­ty task group also rec­om­mends that meet­ings should be held pri­mar­i­ly remotely.

Events and gath­er­ings should be orga­nized only after care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion and the coro­n­avirus relat­ed hygiene guide­lines should be observed. Orga­niz­ers of events are respon­si­ble for the coro­n­avirus safe­ty dur­ing events.

In accor­dance with sub-sec­tion 1 of sec­tion 58 in the Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases Act, the Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tive Agency for West­ern and Inland Fin­land for­bids all such pub­lic events that are held indoors in the munic­i­pal­i­ties in the Cen­tral Ostro­both­nia Hos­pi­tal Dis­trict (with the excep­tion of Reisjärvi) all such indoor pub­lic events with more than 100 (one hun­dred) participants:

  1. where such audience spaces are used where not all participants have been allotted a seat of their own or
  2. that are sing-along events that are considered public events.

The reg­u­la­tion is in effect for three weeks between 15th of Novem­ber and 5th of Decem­ber 2021. Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion in the agency’s mes­sage (in Finnish). The agency will inform about the pos­si­ble con­tin­u­a­tion of restric­tions in the near future.

Restau­rant restric­tions for an area with com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion are also in effect in the Soite area.

Instruc­tions for event orga­niz­ers are found on Soite’s coro­n­avirus web­site: https://korona.soite.fi/en/instructions-to-event-organizers/. Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion can also be found on the Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tive Agency’s web­site.

As the pre-Christ­mas sea­son approach­es, the author­i­ty task group rec­om­mends that you read the list of sug­ges­tions for safe pre-Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions that the Finnish Insti­tute for Health and Wel­fare has com­piled. The Institute’s guide­lines state that it would be advis­able also for pri­vate event organ­is­ers to use a coro­n­avirus pass­port, and that it is impor­tant that the coro­n­avirus pass­port be used through­out the event, not just after a cer­tain time.

The author­i­ty task group empha­sizes the impor­tance of a com­plete coro­n­avirus vac­ci­na­tion series. We would like to remind the pub­lic that a third vac­ci­na­tion dose is rec­om­mend­ed for every­one over the age of 60 and per­sons who belong to a risk group. Regard­ing the sec­ond vac­ci­na­tion dose, we encour­age all age groups who have a right to a vac­ci­na­tion to seek out a boost­er vac­ci­na­tion as soon as pos­si­ble if six weeks have passed since the first vac­cine dose.

We strong­ly rec­om­mend that you get ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed against the coro­n­avirus, as the coro­n­avirus is not going away and it will be dif­fi­cult to avoid the dis­ease in the future. It is sig­nif­i­cant­ly safer to encounter the coro­n­avirus if you are vac­ci­nat­ed. Vac­ci­na­tions will be done main­ly dur­ing walk-in vac­ci­na­tion days with­out appoint­ment book­ing, which means you can come to a coro­n­avirus vac­ci­na­tion when it suits you best. The timetable for vac­ci­na­tions can be found on Soite’s coro­n­avirus web­site: https://korona.soite.fi/en/the-coronavirus-vaccines/

The region­al COVID-19 author­i­ty task group will hold its next meet­ing on Wednes­day 8th of Decem­ber 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 group con­sists of experts from the Finnish Insti­tute for Health and Wel­fare (THL), the Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tive Agency (AVI), Cen­tre for Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment, Trans­port and the Envi­ron­ment (ELY) and Soite.

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