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Coronavirus shuts down health centre in eastern Finland

A staff member at the clinic tested positive for novel coronavirus on Sunday.

Laakson terveysaseman suojavarusteita käytössä.
It is not yet known where the health centre employee contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Image: Mårten Lampén / Yle
Yle News

The Meihikkälä health centre in Mikkeli, eastern Finland, has been temporarily closed and all staff have been placed in qurantine following a confirmed novel coronavirus infection at the facility.

On Sunday, one staff member was diagnosed with the disease, prompting officials to place all personnel in quarantine over concerns that they were exposed to infection.

Local health authorities are said to be currently mapping patients who may have been exposed to the virus. They believe possible exposure may have occurred between 16 and 18 March.

"We are attempting to keep exposed customers as well-informed about the situation as possible. We are probably talking about double-digit customer numbers, but not a huge number all the same," medical chief of staff of the Kymsote hospital district Marja-Liisa Mäntymaa said.

Source of infection unknown

She pointed out that it has already been almost two weeks since possible exposure to the disease.

"Usually after exposure we observe a two-week quarantine. So it'll just be a matter of a few days more before we expect to see diagnoses among those exposed," Mäntymaa continued.

So far officials have confirmed 10 novel coronavirus infections in southeast Finland's Kymenlaakso region. Nearly all of the cases involved travel overseas to risk areas. However one person was infected in Levi, northern Finland.

It is not yet known where the health centre employee contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. The person had not been abroad.

The Miehikkälä health centre will be closed from 30 March to 3 April, during which time it will be disinfected.

Private health services provider Terveystalo, which runs the health station, is now looking into getting replacement personnel for the centre.

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