Coronavirus infections identified in Helsinki care services – spread of infection is being prevented in every possible way

Coronavirus infections have been identified among the residents of Helsinki care services. Thus far, coronavirus cases have been identified in three of the city’s own facilities and three facilities of service providers contracted by the city.

A total of 26 residents of care services facilities in the city have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and nine of these have died.

Safe isolation prevents further infection

Those residents who are judged to have been in danger of exposure are being kept separate from the rest of the facility’s residents, and their health is being monitored closely. They are being cared for in their own rooms. Precautions are nevertheless being taken to ensure that these residents are safe at all times, and that they are not feeling lonely. Staff are also staying in close contact with the residents’ loved ones.

Staff are utilising personal protection equipment, e.g. facemasks and protective jackets, in their work with those who are infected. In addition, enhanced hand hygiene and disinfection regimes are being observed throughout the facility. The use of personal protection equipment in this situation complies with official guidelines issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The policy in Helsinki has been to provide coronavirus testing to residents and staff of care facilities at a low threshold, in order to discover infections at as early a stage as possible.

“Isolation measures can understandably inconvenience residents, which raises concerns among their loved ones. We are trying to provide the safest possible care to our residents, despite everything,” said Seija Meripaasi, director of the City of Helsinki’s Hospital, Rehabilitation and Care Services unit. 

There are about 4,410 places in institutional and assisted living care facilities that provide 24-hour care in Helsinki. Slightly over half of these are owned and operated by the city, while the other portion are purchased as services from independent contractors.