Children playing in a sandbox on the yard of daycare centre Pikkuprinssi.

Only a few diagnosed coronavirus infections in Helsinki’s daycare centres this spring

This spring, only four children and 31 members of staff of daycare centres have been diagnosed with a coronavirus infection. Infections have been detected at 27 daycare centres. A total of 408 people, 212 children and 196 members of staff, were placed in quarantine due to exposure to the coronavirus.

There are a total of 27,951 children at the 475 daycare centres in the Helsinki region, 24,162 in the daycare centres of the City of Helsinki and 3,789 in private centres.

In May, the situation with coronavirus infections at daycare centres began to settle. Coronavirus infections were diagnosed at only three daycare centres, and the latest diagnosis was made on 11 May. The last people to be placed in quarantine ended their quarantines on 25 May.

Two children were infected in their home environment, while the source of infection of two other children remains unclear. The infection spread between members of staff at three daycare centres. Each of these centres had one or two cases.

“About 20% of the normal number of children were in daycare centres while the coronavirus restrictions were applied. The number of infections remained low even after the restrictions were lifted. Everyone stayed home if they felt ill and we avoided forming large groups. All our units were open and we paid special attention to hygiene,” says Liisa Pohjolainen, the executive director of the Education Division.

“Even though the situation is calm, it is very important to pay attention to hygiene and other guidelines concerning the coronavirus, such as maintaining safe distances between adults. If they experience any symptoms, children and daycare centre staff should continue to stay home and be tested for coronavirus as soon as possible, even if they are only experiencing mild symptoms,” says Medical Director of Health Stations Timo Lukkarinen.

“Accessing a coronavirus test is now easy and quick and the results are available quickly. Even if your symptoms subside, you should not return to a daycare centre before receiving confirmation of a negative test result,” adds Lukkarinen.

Picture: Olli Turunen / Helsinki City Material Bank