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Social and health care services reopen gradually, summer schedules bring changes

Services reopen gradually, summer schedules bring changes

Services from the City of Helsinki’s Social Services and Health Care Division will begin again in stages starting in June 2020, as coronavirus restrictions are eased. The onset of the summer season will also introduce some changes to how some services are being provided. Changes that will come into effect later in the summer will be announced separately.

Treatment of coronavirus infections will continue through the summer

If you think you might have contracted the coronavirus, you should first use the symptom checker at www.omaolo.fi to assess the situation. If necessary, the service will allow you to schedule a covid-19 test. It is not possible to book a test on another person’s behalf with the online service.

Another option is to ring the Coronavirus Helpline at tel. 09 310 10024, available every weekday through the summer from 7 am to 4 pm. At other times, you can call the Medical Helpline at tel. 116 117 for assistance. Both of these hotlines can also direct you to covid-19 tests, if necessary.

The coronavirus health stations in the districts of Laakso and Malmi will also continue services through the summer, with the Laakso facility open on weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm and the Malmi location open on weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm.

It is safe to visit health care stations

It is safe to seek treatment at Helsinki’s health care stations through the summer, even though the coronavirus epidemic is ongoing. Customers can continue to book appointments normally, for example, and consultation times that have already been booked need not be cancelled. It is important to take care of yourself and your loved ones, even during an epidemic.

Heath stations (Kalasatama location included) will be open in the summer months on weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm. There will be some reductions in services halfway through the summer season, however, and we will announce these at a later date.

Dental clinics will partially reopen

Dental services in Helsinki have provided customers with urgent and medically necessary dental care since the coronavirus outbreak began in Finland.

The City of Helsinki will also start to gradually reopen dental clinics this summer, so oral health services will become somewhat more available to the city’s residents.

Substance abuse centres expand their services

Two low-threshold substance and psychiatric rehabilitation clinics for adults known as ”Symppis” centres will once again open their doors in June in the Helsinki districts of Kontula and Itäkeskus. Safety concerns prohibit the day centres from returning to full operations, however.

Villa Sture, a facility for people hoping to kick substance abuse, will also restart operations in June.

The facility will be open on weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm (Wednesdays from 9 am to 1 pm) through the summer. Because current restrictions limit the amount of people that can gather in a space, customers are kindly requested to inform staff in advance if they are planning a visit.

Increased group activities will also be reintroduced to psychiatric and substance abuse services this summer, with consideration for current safety guidelines.

Rehabilitative work activities resume slowly

Customers of Helsinki’s rehabilitative work activities will gradually return in a controlled manner to hands-on work activities starting on 1 June. Activities will resume at the city-run Uusix workshops, the Open work activities location and the Pakila work centre, and also at contracted and individual work sites.

Services will be tailored to suit each customer, so they will be able to participate in work activities from the start in a remote or hands-on capacity, or as a mix of the two. The plan will also take into consideration group sizes (10-person maximum), hygiene and protection requirements, and a general assessment of whether returning to the service is safe.

Work and day activities for people with disabilities also begin

Work and day activities for people with disabilities will also begin gradually and in a controlled manner on 1 June at the Cäpsä, Töölö and Vallila units, and also in the Haavikko Training and Adult Education Centre. Face-to-face service will be supplemented with virtual day activities. Operations will resume in smaller groups and special attention will be paid to hygiene, cleaning and transfers that take place during days with planned activities.

Community centres will focus on outdoor activities

Two of Helsinki’s community centres, Seurahuone in the Helsinki district of Oulunkylä and Kumppanustalo Hanna in Alppila, will reopen on 1 June, with consideration for current safety guidelines. An effort will be made to hold most the centre activities outdoors.

Food distribution will see minor changes

The distribution of food aid will continue through the summer, although schedules and locations will be subject to small changes. Distribution point information can be found on the City of Helsinki website. The City of Helsinki has joined with Helsinki parishes and the Myllypuro food aid programme to deliver food and medicine during the coronavirus crisis.

Service centres and kin care activity centres stay closed

Service centres for Helsinki residents who are elderly or unemployed will remain closed, as will activity centres for people who provide informal care to a family member or loved one. The situation is being monitored closely, and operations in these centres will be reopened as soon as it is possible to do so.

Photo: City of Helsinki photo bank/Mika Lappalainen