City of Jyväskylä continues to tackle coronavirus testing backlog
Jyväskylä’s coronavirus testing service has been overwhelmed with demand, with up to 1,000 people currently waiting to be tested. Although the situation remains challenging, the city council has been successful in recruiting more staff for the testing service. Healthcare staff will also be able to refer those who have waited the longest to a private service.
The demand for testing has shot up significantly due to the common seasonal cold currently circulating in the area. Other reasons for the increased demand include children returning to school and day care following the summer holiday period and the guidance issued by the Ministry of Education for children to be tested if they show even mild cold symptoms.
Face masks to be worn on public transport and at mass gatherings if social distancing not possible
The government and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have recently issued new recommendations on face mask use. Under the new rules, face masks are to be worn on public transport and while attending a coronavirus testing facility. THL has ruled that face masks are not suitable for children, and the guidance on face coverings applies to people aged 15 and over.
The City of Jyväskylä additionally recommends that people wear face masks while attending large gatherings involving people who have travelled there from a number of different areas and if social distancing cannot be observed.
As a rule, people are expected to purchase their own face coverings. However, the City of Jyväskylä will offer support to low-income individuals and families, with masks due to be distributed through social services and other outlets. More information on the exact arrangements will be made available separately.
Moving forward, the city authorities require all event organisers to ensure that face masks are worn at mass events if social distancing cannot be maintained. The city council is also appealing to residents to exercise caution regarding contact with others.
“The City of Jyväskylä would like to remind all residents to consider what they can do to avoid unnecessary contact with people they don’t know. If you are attending mass gatherings or other large events, please observe social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene at all times. If social distancing is not possible, you will need to wear a face mask. And if you feel unwell, you must stay at home to protect others,” Dr Johanna Tuukkanen says.
Additional support available with shopping
During the summer months, the City of Jyväskylä has been offering food shopping help to people at high risk of coronavirus. As many of those now waiting for coronavirus testing are children and young people, we have been contacted by their families to ask whether additional support is available for shopping and childcare.
In the first instance, you should look into what help might be available from friends and extended family and to make use of supermarket delivery services. However, if you are self-isolating at home waiting for coronavirus testing and require additional support, please call 014 266 0550 (phone lines are open 08:00–16:00), and we will ensure that you receive the help needed.