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South Savo prepares to issue regional face mask guidelines

The South Savo social and healthcare authority says it will soon provide its own face mask recommendations.

Kirurginen kasvomaski
Some regional health officials are becoming impatient while waiting for national health institute THL to issue face mask guidelines. Image: Jenni Joensuu / Yle

The South Savo social and healthcare authority (Essote) says it plans to issue its own face mask recommendations if national health watchdog THL does not establish countrywide guidelines soon.

The announcement comes on the heels of Turku’s face mask recommendations for public transportation users last week.

South Savo's guidelines would urge people to cover their noses and mouths in crowded public spaces.

"We will publish our own regional guidelines if the Institute for Health and Welfare [THL] doesn’t come out with face mask recommendations in the next few days," Essote pandemic chief Hans Gärdström said.

Guidelines on face mask use policy in schools are expected to be issued by the education ministry, but Gärdström told Yle that the use of masks risks doing more harm than good among under school age children. He also said if necessary it would be relatively simple to identify possible virus exposure chains on school taxis.

Gärdström noted that it was easier to identify infection chains during the spring when people moved about less.

"Now it’s far more challenging to trace infections when people are in contact with each other more," he explained.

Health officials in the region have been unable to fully identify the transmission chains regarding two coronavirus cases in the area last week.

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