By BERNIE BELLAN
The first incidence of possible COVID exposure in one of the two child care centres operated by the Rady JCC was reported on December 5.
On December 10 we were notified by a parent of a child in the child care centre located at the Asper Campus that parents of infants and toddlers (up to three years of age) had been told to keep their children at home until December 17. That parent had said that one of the workers in the child care centre had tested positive for COVID.
We contacted Rob Berkowits, Executive Director of the Rady JCC, to attempt to ascertain the degree to which children in the Kaufman Silverberg Child Centre, which is located in the Asper Campus, may have been exposed to COVID. We asked whether it was true that a worker in the child care centre had tested positive and, if so, had the child care centre been closed?
In an email received from Rob on December 15, he wrote the following:
Thank you for reaching out and for your interest in the Rady JCC Early Learning Programs.
The Rady Early Learning Centre has been providing ongoing care for families at our both locations since the start of the outbreak last March.. At the first stages of the Pandemic, children of Critical and Essential workers were attending our centres while maintaining a healthy and safe environment for children, parents and educators. The high number of cases in the Province this last November and the declaration of Code Red in Manitoba has exposed us to one positive case of COVID-19. The individual was at our main Early Learning Centre: The Kaufman Child Care Centre, located on the Asper Jewish Community Campus – 123 Doncaster Street. This individual was asymptomatic (for the full days of care) on Monday, November 30, Tuesday, December 1 and Tuesday, December 2 but symptoms became prevalent the following day. The individual did not visit the Centre on December 3rd and was directed to get tested and notify the Director of the results. This individual was in contact with the infant/toddler cohort. The Rady was advised of a positive result for that individual in the late evening of Saturday, December 5th.
The Centre was closed on Monday, December 7th for a deep cleanse and disinfection while waiting for Public Health to advise on all steps required to follow in order to be able to reopen as soon as possible. The David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre remained open and care continued to be offered for all the children registered at that location. There have been no cases at this site or the possibility of cross contamination with the individual that tested positive.
The following steps were taken to ensure the health, safety and well-being of children, parents and educators as part of our COVID-19 response policy:
- Deep cleaning and sanitizing of the Centre including toys, furniture, equipment, and all frequently touched surface areas. Electrostatic fogging was also used in all areas including the front lobby, front washrooms and areas in/around the child care centre in the building.
- A COVID-19 incident report was sent to the Child Care Coordinator from Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care. The report was also sent to the Rady JCC’s Public Health Inspector.
- Health Links was contacted as soon as the positive case was reported. Public Health followed up with the individual that had tested positive for the purpose of contact tracing.
We continue to stress the importance of reducing the risk of COVID-19 through reinforcing the actions recommended by Health Canada and the provincial government to educators, children and parents that include washing your hands often, not touching your face, practicing safe social distancing, wearing a mask, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
The Centre was reopened on Tuesday, December 8th to all those that are registered with the exception of those children and educators that may have been in contact with the individual. Health Link advised the Rady Early Learning Centres Director to inform those individuals to self-isolate until Wednesday, December 16 . All educators were asked to get tested and each of them reported a Negative result.
The Kaufman Childcare Centre will be open to all our families (including the infant/toddler cohort) on Thursday, December 17th.
PS 28 children (12 infants & 16 toddlers) compose the infant/toddler cohort at this location. The Centre provides service for 113 children in total.