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Quarantine instructions for residents

3/23/2020 6:25 PM

(Updated 24.8.2020) It is important for those who are in quarantine or isolation to follow instructions to protect others from coronavirus infection.

With these instructions, the City of Rovaniemi states how to act in a quarantine or isolation situation. The rules are unambiguous, i.e. they must be strictly observed by the quarantined person. The person must also be continuously reachable.

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What is meant by quarantine, isolation and quarantine-like conditions?

Quarantine and isolation are always stipulated by the doctor responsible for infectious diseases in the municipality or hospital district. If any health-related questions arise or there are changes in the state of your health during isolation or quarantine, please consult primarily the physician who attended to you as instructed.

Quarantine refers to restricting the freedom of movement of a healthy person. Some infectious diseases can be transmitted even before the onset of symptoms. Quarantine is used to prevent transmission from a potentially asymptomatic carrier to other persons. 

Being placed in quarantine does not automatically mean that you have been infected. This is a precautionary measure to restrict your movement until it is known whether you have been infected by being exposed to the virus. This may result in a situation in your family where only one family member is quarantined. In that case, the rest of the family can live as normal.

The quarantine period is determined on a patient-specific basis. The quarantine period of an exposed patient is 2 weeks. The family members of the exposed person are not quarantined and can live as normal. The situation changes if the exposed, quarantined person is found to have fallen ill. In that case, the person who has fallen ill stays isolated and the family members or other people living in the same household are placed in quarantine for 3 weeks. 

Quarantine can usually be carried out at home. However, special arrangements may need to be considered if people over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions reside in the home. The disease caused by coronavirus can be severe for the elderly and those suffering from long-term illnesses.

Isolation refers to isolating a patient with an infectious disease from healthy individuals. Isolation can be carried out at home or in hospital. This is done to avoid further infections.

If a coronavirus infection is confirmed, quarantine is legally changed into isolation. Isolation can be carried out either at home or in hospital according to the instructions of an infection specialist. A decision is made on isolation in accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act (1227/2016). The exposed person can be perfectly healthy and the purpose of quarantine is to slow down the progression of the epidemic. The most important thing is that all people with flu symptoms stay at home at a low threshold.

The at-home isolation of a patient with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection will end after one symptom-free day, but no sooner than one week after the sample was taken. The decision to end isolation is made by a doctor. The patient must call the infectious diseases nurse at the health centre during office hours tel. +358 (0)16 322 2064. The nurse will pass the information on to an infection specialist or the doctor responsible for infectious diseases to obtain a permission to end isolation.

Quarantine-like conditions
The Government has urged travellers returning to Finland from a risk area to stay in quarantine-like conditions. In quarantine-like conditions, close contact with other people should be avoided. Similarly, going outside the home must be avoided. If it is necessary to go to a shop, pharmacy or any place else, this must be done when few other people are about. Other people must be kept at a distance of two metres.

10 instructions for those in quarantine or isolation

  1. If you have been placed in quarantine or isolation, follow it strictly. When in quarantine, you are not allowed to go to school or to any shop, and you cannot invite guests over or visit anyone yourself.
  2. Visiting indoor spaces, such as a shop, pharmacy, health centre, workplace, nursery, school, library, restaurant, or any public events, is prohibited when in quarantine.
  3. Going outdoors is allowed during quarantine, as long as you are not in close contact with other people. Even in the open air, you must keep a distance of about 2 metres between you and any people you encounter.
  4. You should ask friends, relatives or neighbours for help with grocery or pharmacy shopping. Helpers should pay particular attention to hygiene. See the end of the page for more instructions for helpers.
  5. Grocery shops in the Rovaniemi area offer various services to make shopping easier. Some shops deliver purchases to the customer’s home, some will pre-pack your goods and they should be picked up from the shop. For the most up-to-date information on services and their price, call the grocery shops in your local area directly. There are also various practices in payment. Some shops have an online shop through which purchases are ordered and paid for.
  6. If you are unable to arrange food or pharmacy services at home by neighbours or loved ones, or if the parents of the family are ill and you need help in taking care of the children, contact the advice service of the City of Rovaniemi’s social services tel. +358 (0)15 322 6701 from 9 am to 3 pm.
  7. Social welfare is tasked with ensuring necessary and urgent services, which include essential care and livelihood as well as guidance and counselling services. If you need help, contact your own social worker first. If you do not have your own social worker, you can contact the advice service of the City of Rovaniemi’s social services tel. +358 (0)16 322 6701 from 9 am to 3 pm. The Nestori Advice Point provides advice and guidance on matters concerning the elderly, their relatives and loved ones on weekdays from 9 am to 2 pm, tel. +358 (0)16 322 2580. If both parents of a minor child are temporarily completely incapable of caring for their children due to their own illness, and people close to them are unable to help, contact on-call social services tel. +358 (0)40 7266 965. 
  8. Coronavirus has aroused a desire to help in many people and encouraged volunteers to, for example, set up groups to take care of food deliveries for elderly people who are recommended to stay at home. However, caution is warranted, as insecurity and exceptional circumstances provide criminals with an opportune moment to take advantage of people’s distress. According to police estimates, scams related to coronavirus can take various forms. Therefore, it is a good idea to have healthy scepticism if strangers present themselves as coronavirus experts and offer their help, for example.
  9. If any health-related questions arise during isolation or quarantine, or if there are changes in the state of health of a resident or loved ones, consult the attending physician as instructed.
  10. Take care of good hand hygiene in quarantine as well. The most effective way to eradicate the virus is to use soap and hand sanitiser. Cough into a disposable tissue or your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash immediately.

Food aid and help with shopping

Rovaniemen Kansalaistalo distributes products nearing their sell-by date that have been donated by shops free of charge to municipal residents. The products are donated on weekdays at 10 am at Rovakatu 23 (entrance from Ainonkatu). 

Excess produce of school food is distributed free of charge on weekdays at 1pm at Kansalaistalo (Rovakatu 23, entrance from Ainonkatu). Please bring your own container.

Help with shopping can be enquired from the city’s transport services centre tel. +358 (0)16 322 6900 on weekdays between 7 am and 4 pm. Taxis take care of shopping for people over the age of 70 on request, but customers must themselves agree on payment arrangements with the shop. Home delivery of goods can be paid for with a transport service card.

Pharmacy services

Pharmacies are also offering services to facilitate transactions. You can arrange invoicing and possible home delivery of medicines with your pharmacy by calling your nearest pharmacy.

Contact details for pharmacies

  • Pharmacy Sampo Apteekki, tel. +358 (0)16 362 661
  • Pharmacy Kairatien Apteekki, tel. +358 (0)50 597 8892
  • Pharmacy Korkalovaaran Apteekki, tel. +358 (0)50 442 2556
  • Pharmacy Rovaniemen 5. Apteekki, tel. +358 (0)40 315 6500
  • Pharmacy Rovaniemen 2. Keskus Apteekki, tel. +358 (0)29 340 0280
  • Pharmacy Saarenkylän Apteekki, tel. +358 (0)16 362 566

If another person is going to, for example, a shop or a pharmacy on your behalf, ask them to read these instructions for helpers

- Ask the person you are helping to make a list of the things to be taken care of and to leave it, for example, on the stairs. Avoid contact with the individual belonging to a risk group.
- Do not run errands for another person if you are ill
- Always observe good hand hygiene. Hands should be washed before and after shopping. Most shops have a hand washing point, usually near the bottle return machines.
- Use your own bank card and, if possible, contactless payment instead of cash. It is a good idea for the person you are helping to use a bank transfer to pay you for the purchases.
- Keep an adequate distance of at least one metre to others when running errands.
- Avoid touching your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve whenever you cough or sneeze.
- If you wear gloves, they should be clean disposable gloves that must be thrown away once you leave the shop.
- Avoid contact with the individual belonging to a risk group when you deliver the food or other items you have purchased to him or her with receipts.