The City of Kouvola is making preparations for potential coronavirus infections in co-operation with Social and Health Services in Kymenlaakso (Kymsote). The new coronavirus started to spread from the Wuhan area of China in December 2019. The coronavirus is transmitted when an ill person sneezes or coughs.

If you need advice and information concerning the coronavirus, call 0295 535 535.

If you become ill

If your symptoms are mild, stay at home.
If you suspect that you have a coronavirus infection and

  • your symptoms continue for a long period of time
  • your symptoms become severe
  • you have shortness of breath


call 116 117 , when you have symptoms.

If you are ill or have mild symptoms, stay home. Do not go to work if you are ill. If your child has flu symptoms, the child must not go to day care or school, but the child must stay home. A parent must call the school and let the school know about this.

Do not bring an ill child to day care or school.
We recommend that you contact the services of the City of Kouvola by telephone or e-mail whenever possible.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of the coronavirus are usually mild.
Some people have had more severe symptoms. They usually also have some other illness such as asthma or heart disease.

The symptoms of the coronavirus infection include:

  • high fever
  • muscle aches
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • tiredness.

How to prevent the virus from spreading

Everyone can do things that prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
Good hygiene is the best way to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus and any other viruses.

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.
  • If you cannot wash your hands, use a hand sanitiser.
  • Protect your mouth when you cough or sneeze. For example, use a handkerchief or sleeve into which to cough or sneeze. Do not cough or sneeze into your hand.

Washing of hands, coughing (general instructions)

Also remember these things in your daily life:

  • Avoid handshaking. Find other ways to greet your friends.
  • Stay at least one metre away from a person who coughs or sneezes.
  • Do telework if possible.
  • Avoid large events and hobby groups.

Coronavirus in the world

According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus is a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease that has spread throughout the world.
There is no specific medication for the new coronavirus. There is no vaccine against the coronavirus, either.
The risk of infection has increased in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
However, Finland has good opportunities to take care of those with the infection.

Travelling

Avoid travelling abroad. Follow the travel guidelines of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Travel guidelines (general website of Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland)
If you travel abroad, follow the instructions of the local authorities.

Sources:

News and instructions of City of Kouvola

Corona newslist of City of Kouvola

THL coronavirus in plain Finnish language

THL coronavirus latest updates

Coronavirusinformation of City of Kouvola

Coronavirusinformation videos in 19 languages, WHO

Coronavirusinformation, Integration.fi

Impacts of coronavirus epidemic and Finnish emergency powers act on the services of City of Kouvola between 18 March and 13 April 2020

Some of the provisions of part 2 of the Finnish Emergency Powers Act entered into force by a resolution of Finnish Parliament on 17 March 2020. As a result, the City of Kouvola has closed many of its services from 18 March to 13 April. After this, the need to continue the closing of services will be examined on the basis of the coronavirus situation and on a case-by-case basis.

Theatre of Kouvola

The Theatre of Kouvola will cancel all performances until Monday 13 April to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus. At that point or before it, a decision will be made regarding the situation of theatre performances during the remaining part of the spring.

Early childhood education

The units of early childhood education, in other words day care centres, pre-school education and family day care, will remain in operation in Kouvola. Instead, open early childhood education will be closed.

Early childhood education will be kept open to ensure that parents of children have an opportunity to go to work. Day care centres, pre-school education and family day care will be open in Kouvola, at least for the time being, without any separate restriction concerning the critical nature of the parents’ work.

The Finnish Government recommends that custodians arrange the care of their children at home whenever possible. The teachers of early childhood education support custodians in the implementation of pre-school education at home if the child is away from pre-school education.

If a child is away from early childhood education for at least two weeks during the exceptional circumstances, the custodians can apply for a reimbursement of the care fee. Custodians must always inform the early childhood education unit if the child is absent.

It is possible that some day care centres may close as the situation progresses, and children may be transferred to another day care centre. Custodians will be informed directly also through Wilma about developments in the situation.

Further information: Head of Early Childhood Education Helena Kuusisto, tel. 020 615 7224, helena.kuusisto(at)kouvola.fi

Services for young people

The youth facilities, in other words NuortenTalot, will be closed from Wednesday 18 March 2020. NuortenTalot of Lehdokki, Kuusaa, Voikkaa, Jaala, Valkealatalo, Inkeroinen, Myllykoski, multi-purpose hall in Koria and Elimäki Pulju will be closed. Youth events have also been cancelled.

Youth Services will shift to online youth work – encounters with adolescents take place on digital platforms such as social media. Ohjaamo will work as a remote service between 16 March and 13 April 2020. Groups and information events have also been cancelled.

Summer work vouchers (kesätyösetelit) for 9th grade students will be given by making an appointment. A student must agree on picking up a voucher in advance by telephone or email.

Further information: Maritta Rihu, Co-ordinator, tel. 020 615 7794, maritta.rihu(at)kouvola.fi

Cultural services

Libraries

All libraries in Kouvola will be closed from 18 March to 13 April. Self-service libraries are not available. Mobile libraries are not in service. The return dates of borrowed library books will be postponed to May in stages.

Customer service telephones at the Main Library, Kuusankoski Library and Myllykoski Library will be answered from Monday to Friday between 9.00 and 15.00 at the following numbers: Main Library tel. 020 615 5232, Kuusankoski Library tel. 020 615 4046, Myllykoski Library tel. 020 615 4745.

The self-service return slots of books at libraries are currently available. There are book return slots at the Main Library and at the Inkeroinen, Jaala, Kuusankoski and Valkeala libraries. The use of the book return slot at the Main Library requires a library card and a PIN linked to it.

The e-resources of libraries can be used at address kyyti.finna.fi. This resource offers materials such as books, audio books, films and music.

Museums

Poikilo Museums, Kouta Gallery and Poikilo Gallery will be closed from 18 March to 13 April. Guided tours and artist meetings at Poikilo museums are cancelled until 31 May. The lecture series “Kartanoiden Kouvola” is cancelled for the spring.

You can use Poikilo’s website to explore the “Kartanoiden Kouvola” exhibition with Aatu Itkonen and well-known residents of Kouvola. You can download Jacobina Charlota’s quiz from the Play Store on your smartphone. The Virtual Shop Museum and Pharmacy Museum can be visited at www.poikilo.fi.

Cultural halls in Kouvola

The cultural halls will be closed from 18 March to 13 April. Updated information on postponed or cancelled events is available on the website of the cultural halls at Kouvolankulttuuritalot.fi.

Ticket sales at Kuusankoskitalo, the gallery and café Valkama are closed. The sales service is available for reservations related to the exhibition facility, meetings and concerts on weekdays from 9.00 to 15.00. Home deliveries of lunch portions by café Valkama can be ordered by telephone. Kuusankoski Theatre will be closed until 31 July.

Sales service tel. 020 615 4749 and 020 615 4026, Café Valkama tel. 050 3011 597.

At Kouvolatalo, the museums, galleries, sports facilities and café-restaurant Sävel Bistro are closed. Pohjois-Kymen musiikkiopisto (North Kymi Music Institute) will shift to distance education on 23 March. This week’s instruction has been cancelled.

Kouvolan kansalaisopisto

(Kouvola Open College) has been closed for the spring.

Cultural events and activities

The following will be cancelled for the spring: public events organised by the City of Kouvola, music clubs and the theatre club for special-needs children and adolescents organised by the Cultural Education Services of Kouvola, and events of “ikäihmisten Kulttuurivirta” provided by the Cultural Education Services of Kouvola.

Events of Lennokki cultural path for basic education will be cancelled until 13 April 2020. The Lempo and Kuulas festivals will move to the autumn.

Further information:
• Vesa Toikka, Head of Physical Exercise and Cultural Services, tel. 020 615 3831, vesa.toikka(at)kouvola.fiElina Koivisto, Cultural Manager, tel. 020 615 8454, elina.koivisto(at)kouvola.fi
• Marko Niskapohja, Library Customer Service Manager, tel. 020 615 7843, marko.niskapohja(at)kouvola.fi
• Anu Kasnio, Museum Director, tel. 020 615 8317, anu.kasnio(at)kouvola.fi
• Ulla Tommiska, Head of Cultural Halls, tel. 020 615 8308, ulla.tommiska(at)kouvola.fi

Physical exercise services

All physical exercise facilities of the Physical Exercise Services of the City of Kouvola will be closed from 18 March to 13 April.
All physical exercise groups and events as well as public access to the physical exercise services of the City of Kouvola are cancelled. This also applies to peer-guided exercise groups of the elderly. Physical exercise advice will be discontinued until 13 April 2020. We will inform you later of any reimbursements of payments resulting from the cancellations.

When the Physical Exercise Services of Kouvola close the exercise facilities from 18 March to 13 April 2020, the reservations made are cancelled automatically. The returning of keys and tags can take place later. All other cancellations must be made in writing to liikunta(at)kouvola.fi. All communications are requested by telephone or email.

Even though the exercise facilities are closed, everyone is recommended to take care of their physical condition. Use the jogging tracks, explore the cycling trails and the nature trails in Kouvola (kouvolanluonto.fi.).

Further information:
• Vesa Toikka, Director of Physical Exercise and Cultural Services, tel. 020 615 3831, vesa.toikka(at)kouvola.fi
• Teemu Mäkipaakkanen, Physical Exercise Services Manager, tel. 020 615 8228, teemu.makipaakkanen(at)kouvola.fi

Public transport

Public transport in Kouvola will operate normally until Sunday 22 March. Bus services that normally operate on school days (indicated in the timetables by “koulp.” [= on school days] or bus services with a route number of 20 or higher) will likely be cancelled from Monday 23 March onwards. The route guide will be updated during the weekend.

Service taxis and service lines operate normally until Friday 20 March. Further information on the continuation of public transport will be provided later this week.

There may be sudden changes, for example if drivers become ill.

Follow information on changes in public transport at address kouvolanbussit.fi.

Bus operators have enhanced the cleaning of buses. Passengers are requested to follow good hand and coughing hygiene.

Bussimatkatoimisto bus service agency operates normally until further notice. Instead of visiting the agency, we prefer contacts by telephone or email: 020 710 9705 or info(at)bussimatkatoimisto.fi.

Top up your Waltti travel card online. Instructions for topping up of Waltti card online.

Further information on unused seasonal products will be provided to the customers at a later date. Avoid coming to Bussimatkatoimisto on account of this. Do not activate an inactivated seasonal product downloaded on the card if you will not use the card much.

Further information:
• joukkoliikenne(at)kouvola.fi, Hanna Piispa-Malinen, Public Transport Logistics Specialist, tel. 020 615 6635
• Juulia Hyvärinen, Public Transport Co-ordinator, tel. 020 615 9077

Basic education, upper secondary schools, Kouvola Region Vocational College

Basic education facilities will be closed and contact instruction will be discontinued until at least 13 April.

Exceptions: pre-school education arranged in schools, and contact instruction for grades 1 to 3 in basic education are provided for the children of parents who work in sectors critical to the functioning of society. The custodian of a child and the custodian’s employer assess whether the custodian is included in personnel working in sectors critical to the functioning of society.

In addition, contact instruction is arranged for pupils who have obtained a decision on special support and who need such instruction; however, so that parents, who can take care of their children at home, do so.

The custodians of pupils in pre-school education arranged in schools and in grades 1 to 3 in basic education as well as pupils who have obtained a decision on special support have received a questionnaire about attending contact instruction, need for transport, and participating in morning and afternoon activities. School meals are only arranged for pupils in contact instruction.

As a rule, pupils will shift to distance learning on 18 March. This is provided under the instruction of the pupil’s class teacher, subject teachers and special needs teacher. The teaching and guidance will be arranged using, for example, distance learning, digital solutions and, if necessary, independent study.

Special support is provided through individual guidance. Direct communication must be enabled by telephone, Skype, e-mail or other means of communication.

The custodians must follow the Wilma system daily. Schools inform custodians of the teaching arrangements in more detail.
With the exception of those participating in the matriculation examinations in the spring, the students of upper secondary schools of Kouvola will be in distance learning from 16 March to 13 April. This is to ensure that upper secondary schools will be able to take care of the matriculation examinations in week 12.

Kouvola Region Vocational College is in distance learning from 17 March to 13 April.

Further information: Veikko Niemi, Director of Education, tel. 020 615 7727, veikko.niemi(at)kouvola.fi

Sources:

News and instructions of City of Kouvola
Kymsote

Updated 17.7.2020