The spread of the coronavirus has calmed down in Ostrobothnia. A low number of new infections, a steady decline in the incidence rate and good traceability of infections have led to an expected decision: Ostrobothnia moved to the baseline phase in coronavirus classification. The situation was stated at a meeting of the Ostrobothnia Corona Coordination Group on Tuesday.

The group expresses its gratitude to the population for calming the virus situation in the region. The last time the region was at the baseline level was in September 2020. On Wednesday 28 April, the incidence rate of the coronavirus in Ostrobothnia was 18, which is the lowest number for a long time. On Wednesday, three new cases of infection were detected in the region. In the last week, there have been a total of 16 new cases of infection reported. The infections were easily traceable and no virus mutations were found in the region. In all, 87 percent of the infection chains were identifiable. New infections have occurred mainly within families or in already quarantined individuals who had been exposed to the virus.

Restriction on gatherings at public events to 20 people

As of 1 May, gatherings at public events in the Ostrobothnia region are limited to 20 people. The Regional State Administrative Agency of Western and Inner Finland made its decision on the restriction of gatherings on 26 April. The decision is valid from 1 - 16 May. However, 1 May festivities in Ostrobothnia can only be celebrated with a maximum gathering of 10 people.

The group also gave a recommendation that no more than 20 people come together, even for private gatherings. The recommendation is valid from 1-16 May.

Adults may participate in hobby activities within the framework of the recommendation on the number of participants

The recommended restrictions on recreational activities for adults over the age of 20 were made easier as the region moved to the baseline level of epidemic classification. Hobbies can now be done, but groups must consider the recommendation on limiting gatherings to 20 people as well as other already familiar safety routines, which include the use of face masks, maintaining adequate social distances of two metres and good hand hygiene. The recommendation for hobby activities is valid from 1-16 May.

Matches and competitions only between baseline phase regions

The restrictions on hobbies for children and youngsters were made lighter in Ostrobothnia a week ago. Now the group has also outlined a recommendation for match, training and competition activities:

It is recommended that match, training and competition activities for people of all ages - children, youngsters and adults - be carried out only in the Ostrobothnia region and in other regions that are at the baseline phase of the epidemic. In matches and competitions, adults do not have to consider the recommendation of 20 people. The recommendation enters into force on 1 May and is valid until 16 May. The precondition for the recommendation is that the region remains at the baseline phase of the epidemic. The situation will be reassessed if necessary.

Also in match and competition activities, safety routines must be considered whenever possible.

Recommendations on teleworking and face mask protection will continue throughout June

In accordance with national guidelines, the group extended its recommendation on teleworking until 30 June. The recommendation on the use of face masks was also extended until 30 June. According to the recommendation, everyone over the age of 12 should wear a face mask in Ostrobothnia.

All restrictions and recommendations in Ostrobothnia can be found on the Vaasa Central Hospital website.

Free and non-referral testing again on Thursday at Ristinummi

The low-threshold mobile testing unit will be operational again on Thursday, 29 April. The mobile unit is parked opposite the Ristinummi health station on Jyrsijänkatu in Vaasa. Tests will be taken from 14:30–17:30. The test is free of charge and does not require a referral, and even those who are asymptomatic can take the test.

The corona situation abroad is a cause for concern

Although the virus situation in Ostrobothnia has developed well and the baseline phase has now been reached, the situation abroad is a cause for concern. Most of the recent new infections in Ostrobothnia originate from abroad or from higher-risk regions in Finland. The group therefore reminds the population of an important point:

– Each of us can help to ensure that the situation remains calm by travelling alone or avoiding travel altogether. This is worth remembering with regard to public holidays such as 1 May celebrations and the summer ahead, points out Juha Salonen, the Chief Physician of Infectious Diseases at Vaasa Central Hospital.

The Ostrobothnia Corona Coordination Group will next meet on Tuesday, 4 May 2021.

Compilation of coronavirus indicators in Ostrobothnia

Epidemic phase: Baseline phase

Total number of coronavirus infections: 2401 (Wednesday 28 April)

Regional incidence (14 days): 18 (Wednesday 28 April)

Proportion of positive samples (last week, average): 1.0%

Meeting participants:

Marina Kinnunen, VSHP, pj. Juha Salonen, VSHP, Peter Nieminen, VSHP, Tomas Häyry, Vaasa, Heikki Kaukoranta, Vaasa, Gun Kapténs, Luoto, Miia Kaartinen, AVI, Timo Saari, ELY, Eero Poukka, THL, Hanna Hattar, Press officer VSHP, Päivi Berg, secretary VSHP.   

Role and composition of the Ostrobothnia Regional Corona Coordination Group

The task of the group is to plan and implement measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in its region. The use of recommendation and restrictive measures requires a comprehensive assessment in which decisions are made and weighed in terms of epidemiological, social and economic impacts and in relation to fundamental rights.

4/30/2021 Redaktion_Toimitus