Coronavirus acceleration phase – Current info about the epidemic
The number of coronavirus infections has increased especially during recent weeks almost throughout Finland and in several areas it can be said that the coronavirus is in an acceleration phase. Although there are a lot regional differences, especially in the capital area, the situation has rapidly deteriorated and the number of positive tests relative to tests has increased. In the summer, one or two from a thousand tests was positive, while currently about one in a hundred is positive. Infection rates are starting to be close to the most difficult weeks of spring.
However, infection chain mapping and testing capacity have improved significantly. Currently, testing capacity makes possible for about 20,000 tests per day. The proportion of young children infected is the same as in spring. Infections are currently most common in people aged 15 to 30 years, in which infections have increased, but the disease is beginning to spread to other age groups too. There have been many large groups of infection, but they have also got under control through effective mapping and isolation measures. There is much less people in the hospital care than in the spring.
The most important thing is still good hand hygiene, proper coughing / sneezing and to keep safe distances. The face mask recommendation is valid throughout Finland and has been tightened in many areas in recent weeks. Heltti’s employees wear face masks at all receptions and Heltti recommends members also to wear a mask at Heltti clinics. The telework recommendation is still valid nationwide.
Coronavirus quarantine period cut to 10 days as of 12 October
THL’s instructions for quarantine and isolation time linked with the coronavirus is being reduced. The changes take effect on Monday, 12.10.2020 and does not affect isolation or quarantine periods that started before that date. The length of a quarantine will be shortened from 14 days to 10 days and applies to both voluntary quarantines and quarantines ordered by a doctor of infectious diseases.
”On the basis of research, we know that only some of those exposed to an infection become ill. More than half of these infections occur within five days of exposure and nearly all occur within 10 days. Only few become ill after this”
– Taneli Puumalainen, Chief Physician at THL
You should still go always to a coronavirus test if you get any symptoms suitable for corona infection.
The length of isolation in mild coronavirus infections will be reduced from 14 days to seven days. Isolation means keeping a patient with a disease away from healthy people. However, home isolation must not end until the symptoms have been gone for two days. Isolation does not need to be continued if symptoms are limited either to changes in the sense of smell or sense of taste, or to a mild dry cough. In serious infections requiring hospital care, the minimum isolation period is still 14 days.
The epidemic stages
The Government divides the corona situation into three levels in its action plan:
The base level: Corresponds to the situation in mid-summer 2020. The incidence of infections is low, the proportion of native infections is low.
The acceleration stage: The regional incidence is of the order of > 10-25 / 100,000 / 14 days. Local and regional chains of infection, which are generally traceable, and the need for hospital care can be filled without specific actions.
The spreading stage: Infections spread regionally or more widely, in the order of > 18-50 / 100,000 / 14 days. The daily growth rate of cases is over 10%. Less than half of the sources of infection are traceable, and the need for hospital and intensive care is growing strongly.
The regional prevalence level may not increase to the acceleration phase, even if the number of infections increases by more than 10 / 100,000 / 14 days, if the known infections have been well traced and the spread has been controlled, for example through quarantines. The Hospital Districts of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Pirkanmaa, Southwest Finland and South Ostrobothnia have entered the acceleration stage of the epidemic, according to their own assessments. The Vaasa Hospital District has reported that in its area the epidemic has reached a stage of spreading. (8.10.2020)
About the face mask recommendation
The face mask recommendation is valid throughout the country, but in areas under acceleration, masks are recommended for all occasions and indoors where close contact cannot be avoided.
THL has published general guidelines, but regional governments and local authorities draw up the actual regional guidelines. Areas may be smaller than entire hospital districts. Currently, there is no assembled local guidances provided by any authorities.