Wilma message from infectious disease authority for families and personnel
Notification of change to instructions for coronavirus testing recommendations and sickness absences
For the attention of guardians, pupils and staff
Early childhood education and care, schools and educational institutions in Turku have received new instructions on respiratory tract infections and coronavirus tracking among children and young people. Changes have been made to practices such as applying for a coronavirus test and returning to school or daycare after a respiratory tract infection. The new instructions come into force on 21 September 2021.
In the case of children and young people aged 12 or over, it is still appropriate to go quickly for a coronavirus test if symptoms of an infection develop and the child/young person:
- has not received coronavirus vaccinations or has received only one vaccine dose
- was infected with coronavirus more than 6 months earlier
- has been exposed to coronavirus and is symptomatic even though they are vaccinated
- testing may also be recommended on the basis of individual medical criteria
In the case of children under 12 years of age, testing is recommended in the following situations;
- The under-12-year-old child has been exposed to coronavirus and is symptomatic
- The family contains individuals aged over 16 who have not received two vaccinations
- The physician treating the child decides that testing is necessary
- Either the child or a member of their family has a severe underlying disease or serious immune deficiency caused by treatment of such a disease
It is not necessary to test a child / young person who has been diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection in the previous six months.
When can a child or young person return to school or day care after having a respiratory tract infection?
If you fall ill with a respiratory infection, it is important to stay at home. Patients with a respiratory tract infection are the most infectious during the first days of illness, even if the symptoms are mild. A child who has had a mild respiratory tract infection may return to day care or school when they are well, have been without fever for at least 1 day, and no longer have a wet cough or shortness of breath associated with an acute infection. Children may go to school or day care if they still have mild residual symptoms such as a blocked nose / slight cold and/or a dry cough. When a child returns to school or day care after a respiratory tract infection, they must be able to manage there as normal. This practice is the same as before the coronavirus pandemic.
If a child is diagnosed with a coronavirus infection, they must be isolated in accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act and removed from school or day-care centre for the period of the infection.
If the child has taken a coronavirus test, it is appropriate to wait for the result of the test before returning to school or daycare. At the moment, it is easy to get a test. See the link below for more information:
- City of Turku general coronavirus helpline tel. 02 266 2714 (weekdays 8–15)
- School health care coronavirus helpline for comprehensive school pupils tel. 02 266 201 (weekdays 8–11)
- Students from general upper secondary schools and vocational institutions can receive help with coronavirus matters from the student health services’ central advisory and appointment line on 02 266 1570, open Mon–Thu 8–15 and Fri 8–13.
- Coronavirus information in different languages: https://www.turku.fi/maahanmuuttajat-korona
Chief Physician, physician responsible for infectious diseases
Information to guardians, students and staff
In the future, schools and day care centres in the City of Turku will not send information about corona infections and exposures to all guardians, only to the parties concerned.
The unit director assesses the extent of communication needed on a case-by-case basis. Infections are still reported if, for example, not all exposed persons have been reached, there are particularly many exposures and when the child/young person belongs to the so-called low-risk exposed. The so-called high-risk exposed who are assigned quarantine will receive information from infectious disease authorities.
New information about infections is communicated to caregivers primarily during working hours unless it is a case of an exceptional cluster of infections.
Turku day care centres, schools and educational institutions continue to follow enhanced hygiene practices.
- Coronavirus helpline, tel. 02 266 2714 (weekdays from 8 am to 3 pm)
- Upper secondary school students and vocational school students may call the Student Health Care appointment booking number with corona related matters, tel. 02 266 1570, open Mon-Thu 8 am to 15 pm and Fri 8 am to 1 pm.
- Corona information in different languages: turku.fi/en/immigrants-corona
With best regards,