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Child-care providers keeping safety top of mind following COVID-19 case at Manitoba daycare

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Safety and sanitary protocols are top of mind for many child-care providers in the province, after a child tested positive for COVID-19 at a daycare facility in St. Francois Xavier this week. Marney Blunt reports.

Safety and sanitary protocols are top of mind for many child-care providers in the province after a child tested positive for COVID-19 at a daycare facility in St. Francois Xavier this week.

Read more: Manitoba daycare temporarily closes after child tests positive for coronavirus

Lynda Raible, the president-elect of the Manitoba Child Care Association, says they knew this would happen sooner or later, which is why they’ve been following stringent sanitary and safety protocols for months now.

“It was going to be happening somewhere along the line, it’s not something that we’re immune from by any means,” said Raible, who is also the executive director of the Earl Grey Children’s Centre in Winnipeg.

Raible’s child-care centre is following numerous safety protocols, including frequent sanitation of surfaces, separate entry and exit points, and a no-visitor policy. It’s also screening children for symptoms, operating in cohorts, and enforcing physical distancing as much as possible.

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“Our protocol is we do screening prior to anybody coming in (and) in the unforeseen chances that something may happen, which it can happen, then immediately we would contact the parents and the child would get picked up and we would follow the advice of Manitoba Health and Manitoba Early Learning on what to do next.”

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Raible says she’s been reviewing safety protocols with parents following the coronavirus case at the St. Francois Xavier daycare and is urging any parents with questions or concerns to contact their child-care providers.

Larger concerns for home daycare providers

The risk of COVID-19 is a larger concern for some who operate daycares out of their homes.

Ravi Naur runs Happy Home Daycare in Winnipeg. She says she’s taking all the necessary safety precautions, but is concerned about putting both her home and her workplace at risk.

“If I’m being honest, I’m really concerned. I can’t do anything, I can’t stop working because I have to feed my family, I have to feed myself, I have no choice,” Naur told Global News.

Read more: Manitoba asks closed child care centres to open

“But I’m really concerned because I have (a) four-week-old daughter, she’s always with me.”

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“I’m worried about all my family members, all my daycare kids, about myself,” she added. “But I don’t think there is anything I can do — I can’t stop working.”