Coronavirus infections are increasing exponentially in Ostrobothnia. The difficult situation and absences due to illness and exposure of staff are causing problems within social welfare and healthcare as well as in other sectors.
The worsening situation has necessitated a reassessment of how the spread of the virus can be tackled in aggravated circumstrances, taking into account the resources available for social welfare and healthcare.
Extensive tracing will have to be abandoned
One of the cornerstones of the Ostrobothnian fight against the coronavirus epidemic has been extensive tracing, which has been successful so far. Now, however, extensive tracing has to be abandoned, as the delay in tracing has become too long.
– Now a lot of responsibility shifts to those individuals who get a positive test result. There is no longer time to call everyone, so a person who has received a positive test result must take responsibility for both isolating themselves and notifying their contacts, says the Director of the Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia, Marina Kinnunen.
In the coming weeks, it is important that everyone reduces social contacts as much as possible.
– The fewer people have contacts, the less opportunities the virus has to spread, says Marina Kinnunen.
New testing stations and new instructions for ordering a test
Until now, residents of Ostrobothnia have been advised to apply for a low threshold coronavirus test when symptoms are mild. The guidelines have now been updated so that a person’s vaccine protection and exposure to the virus will affect how they should act.
–If a person has good vaccine protection or the exposure is not known, the first symptoms can be dealt with at home and a home test can be performed, says Chief Medical Officer, Peter Nieminen.
The Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia website contains case-specific instructions for different situations.
–We have also developed guidance on how to report exposures. Those who have a positive test result have a greater responsibility to report an exposure to anyone they have been in contact with themselves, says Peter Nieminen.
The Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia currently has testing stations in several municipalities. The largest testing stations are those that can be visited without an appointment in Pietarsaari (Jakobstad) and Vaasa.
– To make access to testing easier, we are currently preparing a new testing station in Vaasa where a time can be reserved. Testing by appointment is especially intended for those who do not have use of a car, says Marina Kinnunen.
Testing in other municipalities in the wellbeing services county is also being developed. The opening of any new testing stations will be announced later.
10.1. Starting in Ostrobothnia according to the following instructions:
Tracing chains of infection
As the coronavirus epidemic continues to worsen, tracing will have to be temporarily limited. Extensive infection tracing will be abandoned if the infected persons is not contacted within 4 days of a positive test result.
A person who has obtained a positive test result should report the infection and inform anyone who they have been in close contact with (less than 2 m and for more than 15 min.) up to 48 hours before the onset of symptoms or testing.
Separate guidelines have been issued for municipalities and schools.
The extensive tracing of chains of infections will resume as soon as possible.
If a person has been exposed or is symptomatic
A symptomatic and / or exposed person should remain in voluntary quarantine.
A person who becomes sick at home with mild symptoms should stay in isolation, and avoid social contacts.
There are separate instructions on applying for a test, which can be found on the Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia website / attached to the media bulletin.
What to do if a test result is positive
Notification of a test result, either positive or negative, is sent by text message.
A person who receives a positive test result should automatically remain in isolation and inform anyone who they have been in close contact with (less than 2 m and for more than 15 min.) up to 48 hours before the onset of symptoms. Their possible voluntary quarantine depends on how many coronavirus vaccines they have received.
The Vaasa region will have more testing stations and testing will also be available by appointment
The drive-in testing station at Kasarmintori (former barracks area) in Vaasa will continue to be open from 08:00 – 21:00.
In addition, an indoor testing station will open in Vaasa in Weeks 2-3. Testing by appointment is intended primarily for those who cannot come by car. More details will be provided later.
Testing in other municipalities in the county is also being developed. The opening of any new testing stations will be announced later.
Vaccination of 5–11-year-old children will begin in Ostrobothnia
The Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia will provide coronavirus vaccines to children aged 5–11. In the past, vaccines have been available to those over 12 years of age. The vaccination of a child requires the consent of the parents or guardians, which is given on a written consent form. A link to THL’s form can be found on the Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia website.
Appointments are made online or by telephone. Municipal-specific information on arranging coronavirus vaccinations and appointment instructions can be found on the Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia website.
If a child is unable to decide to be vaccinated, or does not want to decide for themself, then the consent of the child’s parents or guardians is required for the administration of the coronavirus vaccine. Vaccination is authorised by completing a THL consent form, which is brought to the vaccination clinic.
Vaccinations for adults continue with or without an appointment
In the municipalities of the the Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia, adults are currently given their first, second and third doses of a coronavirus vaccine. You can ask about coronavirus vaccinations arranged through your employer’s occupational healthcare provider.
The first coronavirus vaccination can be taken either by appointment or as a walk in. A second coronavirus vaccination can be given 6 weeks after the first. Anyone over the age of 18 who has been vaccinated for 4-6 months after the second vaccine dose can order a third coronavirus vaccination. People in risk groups and those over 60 years of age can receive a third vaccination 3-4 months after the second vaccination.
Marina Kinnunen: 044 323 1808
Peter Nieminen: 044 323 1300