The coronavirus situation is considerably worse in other countries than Finland, and it shows in the infection rates.
– The incidence of COVID-19 cases is decreasing, but the decline has now slowed down. That is why it is important to keep following COVID-19 precautions in order to lower the rates even more and also to improve the vaccination coverage, says Chief Physician for Infectious Diseases Jutta Peltoniemi.
Turku is still in the community transmission phase and the rather strict restrictions are still in force. Due to this, no traditional May Day events will not be organised, nor can people celebrate the May Day traditionally.
With a joint campaign, the City of Turku and a wide range of operators encourage the residents of Turku and all people in Southwestern Finland to celebrate May Day safely. The message of the campaign “best way to be positive is to stay negative” refers to the coronavirus test results. You can participate in the campaign in social media with the hashtag #NegativeVappu.
57–59-year-old residents of Turku the next ones to receive vaccination appointments
53,422 residents of Turku have received their first coronavirus vaccine (31.7% of over 16-year-old residents). 7,437 residents of Turku have received their second coronavirus vaccine (26 April 2021).
The vaccination coverage is 89.3% for people over 80 and 91.8% for people aged 70–79. For 65–69-year-olds, the vaccination coverage is 58.6% in total, of which the vaccination coverage for 60–69-year-olds is 71.3%.
At the moment, coronavirus vaccinations are administered at Turku Fair Center for:
- people aged 60 and older
- and people belonging to the 2. medical risk group,
An additional vaccination day is held this week on Sunday 2 May.
This week, the Leila robot is sending vaccination appointments via text message to 59-year-old residents. After this, the appointments will be sent to the 58-year-olds and 57-year-olds. This week, the appointments have also opened for the 16–17-year-olds who belong to the 2. medical risk group. 16–17-year-olds can book their appointments only by calling the COVID-19 vaccination helpline (Mon–Fri 8–14).
– If the residents get their vaccine through their occupational health care provider, they must cancel the city’s SMS appointment, Peltoniemi points out.
In the beginning of May, the City of Turku will launch a new website for residents and other people living in Turku through which over 18-year-old residents can register for the coronavirus vaccinations. The exact website address and launch date will be announced once the service’s completion schedule is confirmed.
After the website is launched, the residents must submit their contact details and phone numbers to which the vaccination appointments will be sent. The Leila robot will send vaccination appointments between May and August according to the availability of the vaccines in random order to those who have left their contact details in the registration page. The vaccination appointments are sent by age groups (people over 50, people over 40, etc.).
When the residents register, the vaccination appointments can be better managed, and local residents do not have to call the COVID-19 vaccination helpline or follow the opening of vaccination appointments online. There are sufficient vaccines for all Turku residents.
At the moment, all vaccination appointments available online for people over the age of 65 are for Comirnaty or Moderna vaccines. Appointments for AstraZeneca vaccines can be booked only by calling the COVID-19 vaccination helpline. People aged 65 can ask their AstraZeneca vaccine to be switched to the mRNA vaccine at their appointment. You cannot choose the brand of your mRNA vaccine; it is either Comirnaty or Moderna. For people over 65, the second dose is primarily administered with the same vaccine as the first dose.
The current understanding is that the immunity after COVID-19 lasts for 6 months, so the coronavirus vaccination is not recommended until at least six months after the infection. For more information, please call the COVID-19 vaccination helpline.
All current information on Turku’s coronavirus vaccines is available at turku.fi/en/coronavirusvaccinations.
This week, we are celebrating the European Immunization Week. Finland has one of the widest vaccination programmes in the world for children and young people. Vaccinations are one of the most important, effective, and well-researched ways to promote, maintain, and protect children’s health. In Finland, all children and young people have an opportunity to get vaccinated against 13 different diseases and the complications and long-term damage they cause.
Mandatory health examinations for airline and ship passengers arriving in Turku will continue at border crossing points
The Regional State Administrative Agency’s decision on mandatory health examination at border controls is in force until 31 May.
According to the decision, every passenger at both the port and the airport must attend to a health examination, which includes a coronavirus test if the passenger does not have a certificate of a past COVID-19 infection or a negative coronavirus test result by the country of origin.
The coronavirus prevention bus will meet passengers arriving from Sweden at the port of Turku every morning and evening. At the airport, health officials will meet passengers arriving in Turku from abroad. Flights are currently arriving once a week from Gdansk. Starting from May, the number of passengers arriving in Turku will increase both in the port and the airport, if the passenger restrictions are lifted in accordance with the state’s exit strategy.
Between 16 January and 25 April, around 12,900 ship passengers have arrived in Turku from Sweden. 21% of them has been tested. 1.4% of the analysed samples tested positive, and the share of positive tests was 0.7% during April. 87% of the ship passengers have a certificate of a past COVID-19 infection or a negative test result. Around 1.3% of the passengers never show up for the health examination at the coronavirus prevention bus, even though they receive orders and instructions on the matter. Details of these passengers are handed over to the police and the passenger’s home municipality.
From the beginning of 2021, around 1,640 passengers have arrived in the Turku Airport from abroad. Around 77% of them were tested at the airport. 6.2% of the analysed samples tested positive for coronavirus. Around half of the airline passengers have a certificate of a past COVID-19 infection or a negative test result. Airline passengers have complied well with the order for mandatory health examination.
Schoolchildren and students have returned to contact teaching
Most of the schools and educational institutions have returned to contact teaching on 26 April 2021. Adult education centres will continue to operate remotely throughout the spring.
Turku Vocational Institute will partly continue the hybrid model this week to ensure recommended safe distances in the teaching facilities.
– Turku Vocational Institute will take into consideration safety measures and risks when moving towards contact teaching by avoiding mixing the groups or giving up safe distances. At this stage, we must utilise other teaching and guidance models alongside contact teaching in some of the teaching environments. On-the-job learning will continue as planned, says Hannu Immonen, the Service Area Director of Turku Vocational Institute.
Day care centres will continue to operate normally with the practices introduced in the beginning of the year, but open day care and family clubs are closed throughout the summer and will open in August at the earliest.
Lower comprehensive schools’ clubs will continue to operate with COVID-19 precautions. Morning and afternoon clubs of basic education will continue as it has in the beginning of the year. The clubs of upper comprehensive schools are closed.
– In Turku, the infection rates have not decreased quite at fast as in the capital region, and for this reason we will still avoid mixing groups and have not, for example, changed the restrictions regarding club activities, says Tommi Tuominen, Service Area Manager for basic education.
The strong face mask recommendation shall continue for third graders and all older pupils and students. The staff face mask requirement is still in force.
– The use of masks has had very positive effects. People have used the masks correctly, and the number of exposures has remained very low. Above all, the use of masks has decreased exposures, and therefore decreased the quarantine and remote teaching periods as well, says Timo Jalonen, Director of the Education Division.
Graduations of upper secondary schools and other schools can only be organised for limited groups of students, provided that the safe distances can be maintained. Guardians or other loved ones will not be invited.