Manitoba daycare closes for cleaning after child tests positive for COVID-19

By | August 7, 2020

A daycare just west of Winnipeg is temporarily closed after a child tested positive for COVID-19. 

The director of Country Kids Learning Centre in in St. François Xavier, Man., emailed parents on Wednesday to inform them that the family of a child who goes to the centre had been in contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19. 

The family got tested and self-isolated over the weekend, and the child’s positive result came in late Wednesday, according to the centre. 

However, the centre assured parents the child had not been in the daycare since July 30 and did not become symptomatic until several days later.

“It’s here. Like, it’s very much here,” said Karen Guerrero, whose toddler goes to Country Kids.

She and her family got tested on Thursday, since her son has the sniffles.

“We just want to make sure everyone’s safe and OK.”

According to emails from the centre, the pre-school and school-aged programs are closed while the facility is deep-cleaned and staff get guidance from the province. The facility is expected to reopen next Tuesday.

The daycare says it is taking precautions to keep children, staff and families safe. (Darin Morash/CBC)

The family participated in a public health investigation and Public Health assured the centre it had responded well to the situation, the daycare said.

The centre also told families that Health Links did not recommend self-isolation for other families, as no one in the facility was considered to have been in “close contact” with a COVID-19 case, since the child who tested positive was not symptomatic while at daycare.

Guerrero’s son went to daycare all last week, but she doesn’t know whether he played with the child who ended up testing positive. 

“He’s had a bit of a runny nose since Monday, and because we saw a lot of people over the long weekend and we were out and about, I just thought to be safe we’d get tested ourselves,” she said.

‘No public health risk’

On Thursday, Dr. Brent Roussin said public health officials look into contacts and “advise accordingly” whenever someone from a school or daycare tests positive.

“Public health has determined the child did not attend the centre while infectious,” wrote a Manitoba Health spokesperson.

“Therefore, there is no public health risk at the facility or to those who attended the centre with the child.” Anyone who has concerns should contact Health Links, the spokesperson said.

The facility assured parents it would keep them updated on the situation, adding it has been a “good reminder” for families and staff to stay vigilant — and home — if symptomatic.

“I think they went above and beyond what was expected of them,” said Tracy Cosser, past-president of the Manitoba Child Care Association, based on her knowledge of the situation. 

She added it’s the first case of COVID-19 her organization is aware of involving a Manitoba daycare.

The focus in facilities remains prevention, including screening people coming in and out, cleaning toys and equipment, and providing individual portions of things like playdough to children, she said.

She added if facilities learn of a positive case, they should contact Public Health for direction. 

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