A nurse in white uniform walking towards the entrance door.

Coronavirus infections among the staff of Laakso Hospital area– stricter protective measures in place

Since mid-March, there have been 63 employees with a verified coronavirus infection. At the moment, 69 employees have been infected. A third of them have already recovered. Approximately half of the infections have been detected in three hospital wards specialised in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Infections have also been detected in five additional wards and some employees from other units. No infections have been detected among the employees of Laakso corona health station. The hospital area has approximately 800 employees in total.

All employees will be tested

As a preventive measure, everyone working in the hospital area will be tested, including employees who are not showing any symptoms. So far, almost 500 employees have been tested.

All infected employees have been isolated, while everyone who has been exposed has been quarantined for two weeks.

“We are taking this extremely seriously. We have informed the staff of the infections and instructed them to get tested as soon as possible. We want to emphasise that only employees who are well and have no symptoms should come to work. We verify the employees’ health at the start of each shift,” Medical Director Laura Pikkarainen states.

Even stricter protective measures

Laakso Hospital has constantly adhered to the instructions of THL and HUS on the use of protective equipment. A hygiene nurse and a nursing instructor have guided employees on using the equipment. Employees also keep a safe distance whenever it is possible during treatment.

Now that protective equipment is more readily available, employees wear surgical face masks during all patient contact. They also wear the masks when treating patients with no symptoms. From now on, employees will also wear protective equipment when interacting with each other.

“As a preventive measure, the staff of Laakso’s coronavirus wards will use FFP2-classified respiratory masks when treating coronavirus patients, for the time being,” says Medical Director Pikkarainen.

The staff canteen will be closed from 12 May onwards. Staff meals will be arranged in alternative ways.

Patients have also been infected

In addition to staff, 14 patients from wards other than the coronavirus wards have been infected. All patients with a coronavirus infection have been isolated, and everyone exposed to the virus has been quarantined. The patients are treated in individual rooms with special protective measures in place. Their condition is monitored carefully.

Laakso Hospital has wards for acute geriatrics, trauma rehabilitation, follow-up rehabilitation of patients with a cerebrovascular disorder, and treatment of infections. The hospital area also includes Laakso corona health station, a lending station for assistive devices, a geriatric outpatient clinic, services related to substance abuse and psychiatry, and an imaging unit of HUS. Laakso Hospital has 302 beds in total.

Photo: Marja Väänänen