Employee at Esther By Childcare Centre tests positive for COVID-19; Preschool cohort closed

OTTAWA — The City of Ottawa says an employee at one of its childcare centres has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a memo sent Monday evening, General Manager of Community and Social Services Donna Gray said the employee from Esther By Child Care Centre was last at work Nov. 4 and is self-isolating at home.

Gray said some services will be cancelled at the centre starting on Tuesday.

“The Esther By Child Care Centre preschool cohort will be closed as of November 10, and those who were in close contact with the individual have been asked to self-isolate pending further Ottawa Public Health (OPH) investigation,” Gray said. “OPH has advised that the toddler program is permitted to remain open. Esther By staff are in contact with the families affected by this closure and ensuring they have the supports they need during their self-isolation.”

Gray said the following measures are in place at municipal childcare centres:

  • Communicating regularly with OPH staff
  • Reviewing and confirming important practices to reduce the transmission of COVID19 including:
  1. Screening children and staff for exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19 o Reminding staff and parents/guardians that they must be stay home when sick
  2. Cohorting (grouping and separation) children and staff
  3. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
  4. Using personal protective equipment when appropriate (e.g., masking) o Ensuring proper hand hygiene
  5. Posting signage of appropriate public health measures (e.g., hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette)
  6. Maintaining physical distancing
  • Providing recommendations on testing, as per provincial guidelines 
  • Assessing whether child care operations can continue and if any additional public health measures are needed
  • Identifying people who may have been in contact with the person(s) who tested positive for COVID-19
  • Contacting those affected directly to provide guidance
  • If child care operations were interrupted as part of outbreak management, determining when operations can safely resume
  • Helping ensure important practices remain in place long term

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