THL: School and daycare closures had little impact on kids’ Covid cases

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© Yle/Mira Bäck
Finland moved decisively to shut down daycares and schools in response to the pandemic but Sweden took a much more relaxed approach.

The agency said that rates of infection in Finland were similar to Sweden, where schools and daycares remained open.

The closure of schools and daycares had minimal effect on the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases among children and young adults, the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare said in a statement on Friday.

The public health agency based its conclusion on an analysis that compared confirmed infections resulting in intensive care treatment and fatalities among patients between the ages of one and 19 in Finland and Sweden.

According to the THL, there was no meaningful difference in the occurrence of infections in the two countries, although Finland opted to temporarily shut down schools and daycares from mid-March until May while Sweden did not.

The THL said that by mid-June the rate of occurrence of coronavirus cases among under-20-year-olds in Finland was 52 per 100,000 compared to 49 per 100,000 in Sweden. However increased testing at the end of May in Sweden revealed more infections among children and young people.

THL medical chief Hanna Nohynek said in the statement that there were no fatalities from the disease among under-20-year-olds in either country.