Coronavirus Schools and kindergartens may have to close due to staff shortages, if the forecasts for the ominous wave are correct, OAJ estimates

THL estimates that 80 percent of working-age people become infected. Sick leave has already increased by 20%, and some small companies have had to close their doors, says EK’s expert doctor.

If the number of cases of infection will rise to the level estimated by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), schools and kindergartens will probably have to be closed due to staff shortages, says the chairman of the Education Trade Union OAJ Olli Luukkainen To STT.

“There is no provision in schools or in kindergartens. There is already a severe shortage of staff, especially in early childhood education. Here we go very rationally – schools are open as long as there are enough staff, ”says Luukkainen.

Helsingin Sanomat said on Friday that the number of corona infections in Finland could even multiply by the beginning of February, and the need for hospital care could double with a small delay. THL experts presented their assessments to the Coronation Ministerial Group on Friday.

Read more: This is how THL assesses the development of the own wave for the Ministerial Group: The need for medical care is greatest in February

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In order to estimate the hospital workload, THL’s calculations assume that the wave that began around mid-December will last 12 weeks and that during the wave the coronavirus self-transformation will go through a large part of the Finnish population. According to these calculations, the wave is likely to last for another two months.

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According to the newspaper, during that time, 80 per cent of Finns aged 10–69 would get either asymptomatic or symptomatic. According to THL, 60 percent of Finns are infected in other age groups.

According to Luukkainen, if the estimates of the microwave are correct, it is very likely that at least some of the schools, educational institutions and kindergartens will have to be closed due to a lack of staff.

“But on the other hand, it must be said fairly that if such diseases come, then there is not much to do in it,” Luukkainen adds.

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Size During the viral epidemic that began in 2020, a total of more than 371,000 coronary infections have been diagnosed in Finland. Not all infections are likely to be included in official figures due to, among other things, varying testing capacity, and this is unlikely to continue to be the case.

Comparing the above figure with THL’s Friday estimates of the microwave, it appears that a large proportion of the 80% share of working-age people is still to come.

Over the weekend, Luukkainen criticized, among other things, how the municipalities in the Helsinki metropolitan area have decided to end most of the quarantines. In Helsinki and 11 other municipalities in Uusimaa, it has also been decided to significantly reduce corona testing and infection tracing.

“For a week now, this has seemed like nothing is being done about schools and kindergartens, that everyone gets sick,” says Luukkainen.

“The government’s recommendations are just recommendations, and in much of the country, they don’t seem to have any impact. On the other hand, some of the recommendations, such as avoiding close contact, are not even possible in schools and kindergartens.

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Luukkainen underlines that the OAJ does not propose or seek to close schools or kindergartens. However, estimates suggest that it is inevitably ahead and that distance learning would not necessarily save the situation.

“If staff get sick on that scale, what THL is saying now, no one is implementing that distance learning. After all, the question is whether the school can be kept upright in any way, ”he says.

With regard to early childhood education, the situation is even more difficult, as kindergartens do not run remotely.

“If kindergartens go closed,” then what? How do those parents get to work? Luke asks.

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