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15.12.2021

The coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion is wors­en­ing again — Soite remains an area with com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion of the coronavirus

The Cen­tral Ostro­both­nia region­al COVID-19 author­i­ty task group met on Wednes­day 15th of Decem­ber 2021 to assess the region­al coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion and rec­om­men­da­tions. The coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion has quick­ly dete­ri­o­rat­ed in Soite’s area and the author­i­ty task group is wor­ried about the sit­u­a­tion. Soite’s area is still clas­si­fied as an area with coro­n­avirus com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion and region­al restric­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions remain unchanged. It is rec­om­mend­ed that you cel­e­brate Christ­mas with a small group of close con­tacts. Vis­it friends and rel­a­tives only if you are healthy, and prefer­ably vaccinated.

The inci­dence and num­ber of coro­n­avirus infec­tions have start­ed ris­ing again in Soite’s area and the author­i­ty task group is wor­ried about the sit­u­a­tion. A total of 31 new coro­n­avirus cas­es have already been con­firmed dur­ing the begin­ning of this week, where­as a total of 26 new cas­es were con­firmed dur­ing the entire­ty of last week. 68 coro­n­avirus cas­es have been con­firmed in Soite’s area in the past 14 days and the inci­dence is cur­rent­ly 88/100 000 cit­i­zens dur­ing 14 days. Last week a total of 1,060 coro­n­avirus tests were tak­en, of which 2.1 per­cent were pos­i­tive. Last week, only 31% of infec­tions were con­firmed in per­sons already in quar­an­tine. 65 per­cent of the infec­tions have been traced. Four COVID-19 patients are cur­rent­ly being treat­ed at Cen­tral Ostro­both­nia cen­tral hos­pi­tal, and two of these patients are being treat­ed at the inten­sive care unit.

52 per­cent of the coro­n­avirus infec­tions were con­firmed in per­sons who have not been vac­ci­nat­ed or who have not received a com­plete series of vac­ci­na­tions. 48% of infec­tions were con­firmed in per­sons who had received two vac­cine dos­es. A coro­n­avirus infec­tion is pos­si­ble despite two vac­cine dos­es if one is in con­tact with a per­son with COVID-19 for a long peri­od of time. Elder­ly per­sons and per­sons who have an under­ly­ing dis­ease and whose vac­cine response has weak­ened have also been infect­ed despite two vac­cine dos­es. Those who get COVID-19 despite two vac­cine dos­es usu­al­ly have a mild form of the disease.

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 (31 per­cent). Infec­tions are also preva­lent in peo­ple aged 20 to 29 years (19%), 30 to 39 years (15%) and 40 to 49 years (19%). Less than 10% of the infec­tions were con­firmed in per­sons old­er than 50. 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 hob­bies and workplaces.

Soite’s area is still being clas­si­fied as an area with com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion. The region­al rec­om­men­da­tions remain unchanged. An exten­sive facial mask rec­om­men­da­tion is in effect with­in Soite’s area as well as a rec­om­men­da­tion about remote work in the form of a hybrid mod­el. 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. Restau­rant restric­tions for an area with com­mu­ni­ty trans­mis­sion are also in effect in the Soite area.

The Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tive Agency of West­ern and Inland Fin­land has issued a restric­tion of no more than 50 par­tic­i­pants that applies to indoor pub­lic events and pub­lic gath­er­ings until the 5th of Jan­u­ary 2021. Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion in the agency’s mes­sage (avail­able in Finnish and Swedish). Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion and answers to fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions can be found on the agency’s web­site.

Cur­rent reg­u­la­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions regard­ing the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic with­in Soite’s area are list­ed on Soite’s coro­n­avirus web­site: https://korona.soite.fi/en/recommendations/ 

The author­i­ty task group rec­om­mends that you spend Christ­mas with as small a group of peo­ple as pos­si­ble and prefer­ably at home with your clos­est cir­cle of con­tacts. Meet up with friends and rel­a­tives only if you are healthy, and prefer­ably vac­ci­nat­ed. If you are vis­it­ing a loved one who belongs to a risk group and lives at a nurs­ing home or assist­ed liv­ing facil­i­ty, it is impor­tant to fol­low the unit’s instruc­tions for vis­its carefully.

It is a pri­or­i­ty to remem­ber the same safe­ty prin­ci­ples dur­ing the hol­i­days as dur­ing oth­er times dur­ing the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic. The most impor­tant part is to observe good hand and cough hygiene and to use a face mask in accor­dance with the recommendations.

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. Espe­cial­ly those who have not been vac­ci­nat­ed or who have received only one dose of the vac­cine should seek out coro­n­avirus test­ing with­out delay and even if they have only very mild symp­toms of a res­pi­ra­to­ry infection.

We strong­ly rec­om­mend that you get ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed against the coro­n­avirus, as the coro­n­avirus is not going away and it will be very dif­fi­cult to avoid the dis­ease in the future. It is sig­nif­i­cant­ly safer to encounter the coro­n­avirus if you are vac­ci­nat­ed. Vac­ci­na­tions give an effec­tive pro­tec­tion against severe forms of the coro­n­avirus disease.

Coro­n­avirus vac­ci­na­tions with a third dose have been off to a good start in the Soite area. A third vac­cine dose is giv­en to every­one over the age of 18 if 5 to 6 months have passed since they received the sec­ond dose. The third vac­cine dose is impor­tant espe­cial­ly for per­sons aged 60 and old­er and for per­sons who belong to a med­ical risk group, and we encour­age those who belong to these groups to get a third vac­cine dose as soon as pos­si­ble 5 to 6 months after the sec­ond dose.

Vac­ci­na­tions are main­ly done 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 22nd 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 task 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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