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Manitoba daycare temporarily closes after child tests positive for coronavirus

A sign outside the Country Kids Learning Centre in St. Francois Xavier.
A sign outside the Country Kids Learning Centre in St. Francois Xavier. Facebook

A daycare in St. Francois Xavier, Man., is temporarily shutting down after a child who attends the centre reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to a letter to parents obtained by Global News, the Country Kids Learning Centre closed its preschool and school-aged programs immediately Wednesday evening, pending a deep-clean and advice from the province.

Read more: Coronavirus: The future of daycare and child care services

According to the letter, the child, who attends care in the daycare’s preschool building, was asymptomatic and has not been at the daycare centre since July 30, after which they started self-isolating. The child didn’t start developing symptoms until days later.

The daycare said the child’s family will be working with public health officials on contact tracing.

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In the letter, the daycare centre says no children or staff are considered to have been in “close contact” with the affected child.

Chief Provincial Health Officer Brent Roussin said he couldn’t confirm the exact case.

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“I don’t have details on that,” he said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

“Public health will do its usual investigation, look into where contact could have occurred, if it is in a school or in a daycare. We’re going to contact everyone who could be, could have contacted and advise accordingly.”

A spokesperson with the Manitoba Child Care Association said she had not heard that a case was found in a daycare, but said closing down would likely be the first thing any daycare would do if a case was found.

The spokesperson confirmed the daycare would likely be in contact with Manitoba public health and would not open up again until sanitation and contact tracing were done.

Global News has reached out to the daycare, as well as its board for comment, via phone and email. Global News has also reached out to the province for comment.

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Challenges being faced by Manitoba daycares – Apr 27, 2020

Asked about the case at a press conference Thursday, NDP leader Wab Kinew said as a father, his first reaction is that the child and the kids and workers at the daycare are all right.

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“That’s very concerning,” said Kinew. “This is one of the reasons why … the province needs to spend money on protective equipment and other precautions in nurseries and child care centres across Manitoba.

“We know that they have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal. There’s $18 million from their own announcement earlier in the year that was unspent. We know that there’s tens of millions more in matching federal funding that they haven’t accessed.

“There’s really no excuse if you have a case in a daycare in Manitoba for the province to sit on tens of millions of dollars that could be used to keep kids safe by buying protective equipment, sanitizer masks and, you know, renovating spaces to allow for the social distancing.”