Outbreak abating at Helsinki’s nursing homes – some quarantine measures already lifted

The first coronavirus infections among the residents of Helsinki’s nursing homes were diagnosed in late March. So far, infections have been diagnosed at 36 group homes (12%). At approximately half of these group homes, the situation has already improved to the point of making it possible to lift quarantine measures.

Since the start of the outbreak, a total of 132 residents (3% of all nursing home residents in Helsinki) have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Of these residents, 80 have died of the COVID-19 disease, some at nursing homes and others at a hospital.

At present, there are coronavirus infections at 15 nursing homes. Infections have been diagnosed at both the City’s own nursing homes and purchased service units.

To facilitate the detection of coronavirus infections as early as possible, some group homes in Helsinki have had all of their residents and personnel tested. Testing has been carried out in particular at group homes with multiple infected residents.

“Over the past week, the outbreak has started to abate to the point of making it possible to lift quarantine measures at 15 units, allowing residents to venture outside of their own rooms. This is crucial for ensuring that residents can lead an active everyday life and maintain their ability to function,” says Department Director Seija Meripaasi.

“We are constantly looking for new ways of allowing residents to maintain contact with their loved ones despite the outbreak. For example, we have set up date points where residents can socialise with their loved ones through a window using a phone,” Meripaasi continues.

There are 79 City-owned and service provider-run nursing homes in Helsinki, which include 290 separate group homes. The total number of residents at nursing homes is approximately 4,400.