The City of Helsinki reports that 24 cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed to date among personnel working in 18 different municipal day care centres. Two children attending the centres have also contracted covid-19.
In cooperation with Finland’s health authorities, the city’s early childhood education staff has made a thorough assessment of the situation and taken all of the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infections. Some of those who had contracted the disease have already recovered.
There are 336 municipal day care centres operating in Helsinki, serving some 27,000 children.
“The day care centres in which coronavirus cases have been diagnosed are located in different parts of Helsinki. We have advised caregivers to be on the lookout for possible symptoms and contact health care professionals at the first sign of coronavirus-related symptoms. Our current understanding is that the infections among the staff of the municipal day care centres have mainly originated from outside the centres,” says Liisa Pohjolainen, head of the City of Helsinki’s Education Division.
Approximately 20 percent of the children registered as customers of Helsinki day care centres are currently using the service.
“We are monitoring changes in the participation rates on a daily basis. Parents and guardians have done a great job following the official recommendation to care for their children at home, if possible. Day care centre operations have been altered to keep contact between the groups at a minimum when the children are playing or dressing to go outside, for example. All of the day care centre groups are smaller than normal,” says Satu Järvenkallas, head of the City of Helsinki’s Early Childhood Education Unit.