Bulleting for guardians of children about coronavirus infection tracing
The City of Vantaa’s infection tracing is currently very busy due to rapid spreading of the coronavirus disease. Therefore, we are prioritizing high-risk situations in our operations. As a general rule, schools and daycare centers are not considered places of high-risk exposure. We are, however, actively monitoring the situation in Vantaa schools and daycare centers and will place those exposed in quarantine in case of high-risk exposure such as infection clusters.
All Vantaa schools and daycare centers have been instructed to send a notification of potential exposure, whenever necessary. This procedure will be applied, for instance, when a group member is tested positive for COVID-19 and has been at the daycare center/school while infectious. This guideline will be valid until further notice.
Children usually have a mild or even symptomless coronavirus disease, and children spread the infection less than adults do, which is also due to the fact that most adults that are in close contact with children have already been vaccinated. A full set of COVID-19 vaccines is an effective protection against severe coronavirus disease.
As the disease spreads at its present pace, schools and daycare centers will face situations where some of the children and/or employees are slightly or moderately exposed to infection. The same is also taking place in the society as a whole, not only in schools and daycare centers. Usually, the risk of infection in these situations is not so big that placement into quarantine would be justified. At the moment, almost 100 COVID-19 cases are detected as regards people who have been either at school or at daycare center while infectious. Only a minority of these cases lead to birth of a considerable infection cluster.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, children’s rights have had to be restricted for the benefit of adults. Distance-learning periods, widescale quarantines, termination of hobbies, postponing non-urgent treatment and rehabilitation have increased the malaise of families with children. When the majority of adults have comprehensive immunity, it is not purposeful to actively search for children's coronavirus infections or to restrict children’s rights in the name of the epidemic. Schools and daycare centers can battle COVID-19 cases the same way they battle other respiratory infections.
We have been trying to limit the spread of coronavirus in schools and daycare centers (as well as elsewhere in the society) to the best of our ability with the resources available, by simultaneously accounting for the appropriateness of our measures with regard to the risk of contagion on the one hand and individual freedom on the other hand. Our guidelines for schools and daycare centers are very alike those made in, for instance, Helsinki and Espoo, and corresponding guidelines have been given also elsewhere in Finland.
Our actions are based on the National Institute for Health and Welfare's (THL) instructions for how tracing can be prioritized, when required, in high infection risk situations. Further information (only in Finnish)
Instructions related to children: Children and COVID-19 - THL
Information on COVID-19 on the City of Vantaa website: vantaa.fi/coronavirus
In order to decelerate the epidemic, it is of key importance to observe general instructions for good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, for reducing close contacts, for wearing face masks, as well as for taking COVID-19 vaccines.
At the moment, 12-year-olds and older can take the set of COVID-19 vaccines, which diminishes coronavirus infections and effectively protects against severe coronavirus disease. COVID-19 vaccines for 5 - 11-year-old children belonging in risk groups begin in Vantaa on December 19, 2021. You can make an online vaccination appointment at koronarokotusaika.fi, or by calling the appointment service of your municipality of residence. Vantaa residents can make vaccination appointments by phone, tel. 09 5844 3030 (Mon-Fri at 8:00-16:00). More information on COVID-19 vaccinations: vantaa.fi/coronavirusvaccinations
If you get symptoms indicative of coronavirus, stay at home and go to COVID-19 testing according to the THL’s instructions. You can make an assessment of your need for testing and book an appointment for a COVID-19 test online at: koronabotti.hus.fi. You can also call Vantaa health centers’ coronavirus helpline, tel. 09 839 50070, on Mon-Fri: 8:00-18:00 and on Sat-Sun: 9:00-16:00. When waiting for the test result, stay at home.
Vantaa Communicable Diseases and Infection Control Unit