The regional COVID-19 situation assessment workgroup decided at its meeting on 23 November 2021 that the entire South Karelia is a community transmission area of the coronavirus epidemic.
During week 46 (from 15 to 21 November 2021), a total of 153 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in the Eksote area, when the corresponding figure in the previous week was 85. The 14-day incidence rate is currently 181.1 / 100,000 (the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare).
– Last week’s total, i.e., 153 new COVID-19 cases was the new record in the Eksote area, says the senior physician Sami Raasakka. The previous record was 132 new cases, which was recorded in March 2021.
One infection cluster occurred last week on a bus carrying a group of pensioners. No major mass exposures have occurred at schools, as the infection chains more often lead to families and the closest circle of friends.
People living in South Karelia should have themselves tested straight away if they develop symptoms and suspect that they have become exposed to the coronavirus to ensure that infection tracking is not delayed. Persons who have not received a full series of vaccinations must have themselves tested immediately when they develop even minor symptoms. The use of a face mask is recommended in crowded public indoor spaces, at schools, and in early childhood education. The situation assessment workgroup hopes that parents would not bring children with flu symptoms to early childhood education or send them to school. The parents are reminded of the need to use a mask in the premises of early childhood education when they drop off or pick up their children.
The entire South Karelia region is now a community transmission area; the Government is likely to impose restaurant restrictions on the entire region. The government will assemble on Thursday 25 November 2021 to make a decision on restaurant restrictions. The use of the COVID passport is an alternative for complying with the restrictions. The EU COVID certificates serve as COVID passports.
– It is advisable to download the COVID passport in good time from the My Kanta pages and either save it on your mobile phone or print it out, says the chair of the situation assessment workgroup Tuula Karhula from Eksote.
The situation assessment workgroup decided that restrictions will now be first recommended for restaurants and bars. The development of the COVID-19 epidemic in the region will be addressed again on 30 November 2021 and, if the situation so requires, it will be proposed that the restrictions be extended, e.g., to public events that pose a significant risk.
The mask recommendation returns to schools and early childhood education
As the COVID-19 situation has deteriorated, the regional situation assessment workgroup recommends that a face mask be used not only in public indoor premises but also by the staff of early childhood education and at schools. The mask recommendation is now valid in the Eksote area in crowded public indoor premises and on public transport, as well as for the staff of early childhood education and schools, and for students aged 12 or older. The mask recommendation applies to persons aged 12 years or older, including persons who have received a full series of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The situation assessment workgroup discussed Christmas celebrations at schools. It is recommended that Christmas celebrations be organised in small groups. Large celebrations organised in an assembly hall with the whole school present might be too risky, if the COVID-19 situation is as it is now, i.e., the criteria for an area that is in the community transmission phase are met. Schools can organise Christmas celebrations indoors in smaller groups, when public health instructions are observed. Larger celebrations can be organised, for example, outdoors, where the parents of the children can also be invited.
Only participate in Christmas parties if you are fully vaccinated – stay at home if you have flu symptoms
Christmas parties can be organised at workplaces if considered appropriate – preferably in small groups. THL advises people to only celebrate in a group if they have been vaccinated. Even though the vaccination does not entirely eliminate the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, it significantly reduces the secretion of the virus and, therefore, also slows down the spread of the virus from one person to another. It is vital that you stay home if you have flu symptoms. A link to THL’s website: https://thl.fi/en/web/thlfi-en/-/participate-in-seasonal-parties-only-when-vaccinated-restaurants-can-improve-safety-by-always-requiring-a-covid-19-passport
COVID-19 vaccinations will again be administered without an appointment starting on week 48 in Imatra and Lappeenranta.
On weekdays at 9:00–14:30 at IsoKristiina in Lappeenranta, 1st and 2nd vaccination doses without an appointment
On weekdays at 13:00–16:00 at ToriGalleria in Imatra, 1st and 2nd vaccination doses without an appointment
With an appointment on weekdays at 8:30–15:30 at IsoKristiina and 9:30–16.30 at ToriGalleria
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