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3 Ottawa daycares now facing coronavirus outbreaks

Ottawa Public Health reported 54 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the weekend. File Photo / Getty Images

Ottawa’s novel coronavirus case count rose by 28 on Monday as the virus continues to infect younger residents and daycare settings.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 28 new coronavirus cases on Monday, raising the city’s total to 2,443. The latest increase followed 28 cases added on Saturday and 26 cases on Sunday.

The local public health unit has also reported outbreaks at three local childcare centres in the past week.

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Two staff tested positive at La Clémentine’s Michel-Dupuis daycare; a staff member and a child tested positive for the virus at the Pinecrest Queensway’s Headstart childcare centre; and one employee has tested positive at the Renée Tassé daycare.

The La Clémentine and Pinecrest Queensway outbreaks are dated as starting July 20, while Renée Tassé has a start date of July 24, according to the OPH database.

Staff and kids at Ottawa daycares are screened for COVID-19 via mandatory temperature measurements before entering a childcare facility each day, but these tests might not detect asymptomatic cases.

The outbreaks at Ottawa childcare centres come as Ontario expands the maximum size of daycare cohorts from groups of 10 children and staff to 15 on Monday.

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Ottawa is also seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases locally, especially among youth.

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Of the 54 new cases over the past weekend, 59 per cent were linked to residents under the age of 30. Eleven of those cases were children under 10.

A recording on Pinecrest Queensway’s messaging system says the daycare centre is closed until Aug. 4, two weeks after the outbreak was first declared.

According to OPH guidelines, childcare centres do not have to close immediately once an outbreak is declared.

Read more: Eastern Ontario school board wants students back in class full-time in September

The local public health unit has instructions on isolating children and staff in the event of COVID-19 symptoms, after which a test will determine whether an extended isolation is required.

Closing a daycare centre after a positive test is determined based on consultation with OPH’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team.

Similar guidelines are in place for the reopening of schools in the fall. The Ontario government is expected to provide details later this week on whether students will return to schools on a full-time, part-time or online-only basis.

There were no new deaths linked to COVID-19 in Ottawa reported Monday.

A new outbreak was logged in OPH’s database on Monday. The Oakpark Retirement Community officially declared a coronavirus outbreak as of July 25 with one staff member testing positive for the virus.

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The weekend also saw a new outbreak declared at the city-run Carleton Lodge long-term care home.

All residents are currently in isolation at the home after a staff member at the home tested positive for the virus.

There are currently 265 active cases of the virus in Ottawa, with eight people in hospital with COVID-19 and three in the intensive care unit.

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