Espoo is prepared for the coronavirus

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
2020-03-13 19:54

The City of Espoo has adopted stricter measures against the coronavirus as recommended by the Government. The Mayor has set up a city-level rapid intervention team that meets regularly. The situation will be reported on Monday at the meetings of the City Board and the Advisory Committee of the City Council. The City Council and other elected bodies will reconsider their meeting arrangements. The largest cities in Finland will outline their shared positions early next week. The City of Espoo has made every effort to prepare for rapid changes in the situation.

Latest information for Espoo residents is updated all the time on this website: espoo.fi/coronavirus. Internal instructions for the city staff have been updated.

“I appeal to the city’s personnel and Espoo residents to prepare in advance and to follow instructions in order to prevent the rapid spread of the virus and to protect risk groups from it,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.

If you are ill, do not leave your home or go to school, day care or work, for example. Everyone who returns to Finland from abroad should also stay at home for 14 days even if they have no symptoms. If you need further instructions, call your health centre. Avoid visits to nursing homes, to the elderly and people in poor health even if you are healthy. Take care of good hand hygiene and cough into your sleeve.

The rapid intervention team and Social and Health Services’ command centre implement the recommendations and decisions of the Government and the authorities, working together with the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). All quarantine decisions will be made by the city’s infectious disease physician. Decisions on the closing of premises to prevent infections will be made by the Social and Health Services Committee of the City of Espoo.

Live events turn into virtual ones

By the decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency, all events of more than 500 people will be cancelled. The events and meetings organised by the City of Espoo will therefore be cancelled or, if possible, held virtually instead, for example through Teams or Skype, to avoid personal contact. For example, the Esimiesareena event for all 750 supervisors in the city will only take place virtually. Each administrative sector of the city will assess its event practices in closer detail.

The public spaces, points of service and offices maintained by the City of Espoo will be cleaned more often, and people will be instructed to follow good hygiene practices. Handshakes will be replaced with other greetings.

Changes to social and health services

All essential social and health services will be ensured. For this reason, non-urgent appointments with doctors and nurses need to be postponed. More staff are allocated to emergency wards and telephone service. You can use the online appointment booking system of Espoo’s health centres to book remote appointments. No other appointments can be booked online. Maternity and child health clinics will also have fewer doctor’s appointments available. However, pregnant women and children younger than 12 months will have their appointments as usual. We will contact every client whose appointment needs to be rescheduled.

Instructions for schools and day care centres

The City of Espoo has already made preparations in case schools or day care centres need to be closed or individual people must be quarantined because of a risk of infection. The city’s Infectious Disease Unit will contact all guardians whose children are ordered into quarantine. If one or several school classes or early childhood education groups are ordered into quarantine, the guardians of every child in that school or day care centre and the personnel will be informed.

A pupil placed under home quarantine will receive more detailed instructions from their school for independent studies. Remote communication will be used as much as possible. All pupils should bring their schoolbooks home and only take the books they need to school with them each day.

In a quarantine situation, pre-primary education and early childhood education will not be provided for the children who are in quarantine.  

Contact us preferably by phone or chat

All six City of Espoo Service Points will continue to serve customers as usual until further notice. However, we recommend that all customers postpone their non-urgent errands or contact the Service Points by phone or chat. The telephone number and the chat window are available at www.espoo.fi/asiointi.

Trips and visits are cancelled

The city staff will not travel abroad or receive visitors from abroad. For example, visits to Espoo’s day care centres and schools by international guests have been rescheduled for the autumn. All student trips abroad organised by the city and other similar trips will be cancelled until the end of the semester. The city recommends that employees also avoid travelling abroad in their free time.

As far as possible, the city employees’ business trips and meetings in Finland will be held online to avoid unnecessary traveling and gatherings. The necessity of internal meetings will also be assessed.

Staff instructions for remote work

The City of Espoo follows the recommendation of the Government and requires employees who return from abroad to stay at home for 14 days after returning to Finland.

The city encourages employees to work remotely from home. Supervisors agree on remote work arrangements with each employee.

Advisory services for residents

If you fall ill or are placed in quarantine for other reasons, you should stay at home. “I appeal to Espoo residents to follow instructions. We need a good spirit of cooperation and caring to survive this exceptional situation and to make sure that no one is left without care,” says Mayor Mäkelä.

The contact information of health services in Espoo:

  • Telephone service of Espoo’s health centres, tel. 09 816 34500, Mon–Fri 7:00–18:00
  • Oma Lääkärisi Espoontori, tel. 09 855 4303, Mon–Fri 8:00–16:00
  • Oma Lääkärisi Matinkylä, tel. 09 855 4100, Mon–Fri 7:00–18:00
  • Book a video appointment with an on-call nurse
  • The Medical Helpline will help you in the evening and at weekends when health centres are closed. Tel. 116 117.
  • Contact information of health centres in Espoo: espoo.fi/healthcentres

The national coronavirus hotline also provides information via text message, tel. 050 902 0163. The service is open Mon–Fri 8:00–21:00 and Sat 9:00–15:00.

Read more: www.espoo.fi/coronavirus