School Infections are now spreading among young people – according to THL’s Salminen, there should be strong reasons for distance learning: “We are talking about generations who are in a weak position”

In recent weeks, coronary infections have spread, especially among young people. Mika Salminen, Director of THL, emphasizes that these are largely young adults.

Coronary infections are currently spreading, especially among young people in Uusimaa. For example, in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital districts, the number of cases among 15–19-year-olds more than quadrupled compared to last week.

As many infections were detected in 20-29 year olds as last week. However, the number of infections in this age group has not increased significantly in the last three weeks.

Read more: Coronation cases among young people in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area quadrupled in just a week – the virus is now spreading, especially at parties

Primary and secondary schools begin their school year in about a month. The school year will basically start with contact teaching, but do the current infection rates of young people create a threat of switching to distance education?

“It depends on what is being pursued. What matters is how people get sick, ie what the risk of starting school is to develop a serious illness, ”says the director of the Department of Health and Welfare’s (THL) Department of Health Safety. Mika Salminen.

However, he states that he will not speculate on the burden of the disease for four weeks.

“Children’s schooling and learning are such an important thing that there must be very good reasons to switch to distance learning. There are so many bad experiences with it, and the effect is not short-lived. We are talking about generations that are left in a weak position. It’s not a small thing, ”says Salminen.

“We are talking about generations that will be left in a weak position. It’s not a small thing. ”

Last During the school year, pupils and students from all over Finland were quarantined due to infections and exposures. According to Salminen, the same must be done this school year if necessary, even if the aim is to keep children in school.

“If there are more infections in a school and class, we act accordingly. This is kind of awkward, but still proportionate. ”

Thanks to the vaccinations, however, the school year begins in a very different situation than a year ago.

“It affects what is the impact of a possible epidemic acceleration. If people at serious risk are protected, this is not the same as last autumn or spring, ”says Salminen.

Can schools then tolerate more infections in the autumn before the measures, for example compared to last spring?

“We don’t have a ready answer to that yet. Here we follow the experiences of other countries. Britain, for example, is one country that is ahead of us. We will probably have time to learn a lot from there before the schools start, ”Salminen replies.

“During the pandemic, it has been seen that it is not worth drawing conclusions too early. It’s better to look than the street. ”

Salminen emphasizes that the recent increase in corona infections is affecting young adults in particular, and that there is less clear change in other age groups.

Mika Salminen, Director of THL’s Health Safety Department.

“It’s not worth talking about teenagers here, because the infections are clearly related to leisure activities that are beneficial for adults but not for others,” says Salminen.

The same was stated by THL and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) this week.

“The epidemic is now spreading among socially active young adults, for example at bar and party evenings,” STM’s in a Thursday release was told.

“If people at serious risk are sheltered, this is not the same thing as last fall.”

What the younger the case, the lower the risk of severe coronavirus disease.

“In this way, the increase in infections among young people does not pose an immediate threat to a very high increase in the burden of disease when it comes to a disease that requires hospitalization,” says Salminen.

Admittedly, the disease is always unique. Some young people also get very severe symptoms after they get sick. And the disease will not respect age groups forever, Salminen says.

“If there are contacts with older people, especially the unvaccinated elderly, the risk of getting seriously ill increases. That is why it is essential that people go for the vaccine regardless of their age group, ”he says.

“The best conditions for lifting restrictions are when everyone takes the vaccine on time.”

Also colleges start their teaching in just over a month, and much of the teaching is remote.

Salminen states that early groupings of studies are always associated with the risk of the spread of infections.

“It’s pretty hard to do anything other than recommend that people still keep their distances until they get their own vaccine, especially both doses.”

However, Salminen does not want to comment on it most commonly, whether the Autumn Student Events should be organized remotely.

“It needs to be looked closer to autumn.”

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