Boat towards Vallisaari island in Helsinki archipelago.

Mass Exposures to Coronavirus in Helsinki

The coronavirus situation is under control in Helsinki. Isolated cases have occurred almost daily during July, and there has been a small increase in infections towards the end of July. However, there have only been a few infections per day so far.

Infection tracking has shown that certain safety measures now need to be intensified. In the last week alone, there have been several cases with dozens of people exposed per one infected person. The reasons for this includee.g. failed arrangements in the realisation of safe distances, numerous social contacts and travelling.

"There has been a clear delay in seeking testing in many cases, especially when the disease manifests as digestive symptoms. As a result, there has been time to expose more people. Mainly, however, people are currently doing very well in seeking testing", says Chief Physician Sanna Isosomppi from the City of Helsinki’s Epidemiologic Operations Unit.

When returning from trips to certain countries, you need to remember to voluntarily quarantine yourself. This means avoiding all unnecessary social contacts. Visiting relatives and going to restaurants can wait until 14 days have passed after returning to Finland.

Mass exposure at Linnanmäki

Linnanmäki amusement park was visited on Sunday 26 July at around 15–18 by a party that exposed other visitors to the coronavirus. Linnanmäki will attempt to contact those who had booked a ticket for that day through Linnanmäki’s reservation system.

Those who visited Linnanmäki during that time are advised to monitor their condition particularly well and quickly seek testing if symptoms occur. Symptoms include fever, coughing, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, muscle ache, a sore throat, a runny nose, shortness of breath and the loss of sense of smell and taste.

Customers are advised to contact their municipal health services when necessary.

"It is of paramount importance to us that having fun at Linnanmäki is healthy. We apologise for the additional concern caused to our customers due to the incident", says Pia Adlivankin, CEO of Linnanmäki.

"We have voluntarily limited our visitor capacity to about half the normal capacity this season. We track visitor numbers in real time and have been able to keep the number of simultaneous visitors below 7,000 throughout the season. Furthermore, we have taken various measures to ensure healthy fun. We will further increase our reminders of safe distances in the amusement park, both with announcements and by the staff, so that having fun at the park will continue to be safe for your health", Adlivankin continues.

Let’s follow coronavirus guidelines together

"I am pleased that the people of Finland and Helsinki have done a great job in following the personal hygiene guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it is important to remember that this is about more than just hygiene. The occurrence of mass exposures indicates that there are starting to be too many opportunities for the spread of infections", says Timo Lukkarinen, Medical Director of Health Stations in Helsinki.

Complete a symptom assessment or call the coronavirus helpline when necessary

Helsinki residents can complete a coronavirus symptom assessment at omaolo.fi. The Omaolo service provides instructions and advises you to make an appointment for a coronavirus test when necessary.

Helsinki residents are also served by the coronavirus helpline, tel. 09 310 10024 (7–16 on weekdays), and the Medical Helpline, tel. 116 117, at other times. The helplines refer callers to coronavirus testing or the corona health stations of Laakso or Malmi when necessary.

Residents of other municipalities can contact their local health services if they experience coronavirus symptoms.

For more information about the coronavirus, please visit thl.fi/en/web/thlfi-en or www.hel.fi/helsinki/coronavirus-en.

Photo: Julia Kivelä / Visit Finland