Vantaa is prepared for the spread of the Corona virus

The City of Vantaa has strengthened its preparations for preventing the coronavirus, spreading fast around the world as in Finland. We have given and will regularly give instructions for both residents and employees. Current information for residents is online, on the website.

- Now we need commitment and carefulness on the part of everybody involved in services for Vantaa residents to prevent the spread of the virus. All Vantaa residents shall be responsible. If you suspect infection, act according to instructions given, highlights Ritva Viljanen.

The city management handles the virus situation in meetings, several of which have been conducted this week. The WHO decided that the virus has become a pandemic. Even though the situation in Finland is not yet classified as a pandemic, ministries have given more extensive recommendations than before. Based on these recommendations, Vantaa activates its abnormal situation management group. The group receives regular updates on the situation world-wise, in Finland, and in Vantaa. The government’s outlines of today will be accounted for in Vantaa’s instructions. The management will follow THL’s assessments and recommendations, decide on measures to be taken in Vantaa, and is prepared for even fast changes. In addition, a pandemic group consisting of experts in the field is supervising and planning issues related to the coronavirus.

New instructions and travel restrictions

Currently, decisions have been made on, among other things, updating instructions, employees’ preparedness and operating instructions, boosting communications, and revising the activities and assembly of the pandemic group.

Employees of day-care centers, schools and educational institutions, employees in health and social welfare service production and in rescue center’s operative tasks are asked to stay at home and telework for 14 days from the date of their return.

The same practice is recommended for the city’s companies and for private service providers. Other city employees in service tasks are urged to contact health care after their return, so that their potential need for staying away from the workplace can be assessed.

City of Vantaa employees may not travel on business to the epidemic areas, and traveling is also otherwise restricted. In the course of the spring, business travel is only allowed for special reasons. Likewise, international groups of visitors will not be met during the spring.

City-arranged student groups’ study trips abroad and similar trips will be canceled till the end of the academic year. Vantaa recommends that students or children in early childhood education returning from the epidemic areas stay at home for 14 days after their return.

Consistent with the executive board’s recommendation, Vantaa cancels all public events of more than 500 people till the end of May. Policies for arranging other events and meetings will be given shortly.

Hygiene tools and instructions for, for instance, shaking and washing hands, will be distributed to the city’s service and work points.

- Instructions will be continuously updated as the situation changes. The purpose of the strict travel restrictions is to prevent the coronavirus from spreading through the city’s services. We inform the residents that the situation is under control and we are well prepared. We will closely follow national instructions and recommendations and react to changes rapidly, says mayor Ritva Viljanen.

Pandemic group monitors the situation

Vantaa has updated its instructions for the pandemic and founded a pandemic management group which is in close contact to national and regional health care operators, such as THL and HUS. The group is responsible for planning and outlining preventive measures, coordinating activities and regularly updating the preparedness plan.

Medical director, doctor Kirsi Valtonen is responsible for preventing infectious diseases, and thus also the COVID-19 virus, in Vantaa. She has plenty of experience in preparing for threats posed by various infectious diseases. Vantaa is currently preparing for wide-scale exposure and future increase in the number of infected people. The Helsinki-Vantaa airport is a further challenge as regards preventing infectious diseases. Vantaa has increased the resourcing of the infectious diseases unit.

Kirsi Valtonen, Vantaa’s doctor responsible for infectious diseases, will decide on any potential quarantine. The primary place of quarantine is the person’s home, but we have prepared for the fact that family members belonging to risk groups will have to be located elsewhere for the duration of the quarantine.

For Vantaa residents

The website has up-to-date information on the situation in Vantaa as well as links to national updates and instructions.

The consultation phone, tel. 09 8395 0070, is meant for all Vantaa residents concerned about how the coronavirus will affect their everyday lives or who suspect they have been exposed to or contracted the virus. The service is available on weekdays at 8 - 16. After 16 and on weekends, call Medical Helpline, tel. 116 117.

Email: provides information, if calling fails for some reason.

Published: 13.3.2020 
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