Update: This story was updated following the province’s clarification that six, not five, additional daycares were impacted.
In a statement released just before midnight Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Joffe said children from six additional daycare sites have tested positive for the gastro-intestinal disease, with some being linked to the daycares from the original outbreak.
The affected daycares are required to close and thoroughly sanitize and clean the space, and all children will be tested before returning to the centres, the release reads.
These sites include:
- Active Start Country Hills
- CanCare Childcare, Scenic Acres location
- CEFA Early Learning Childcare North
- MTC Daycare
- Renert Junior Kindergarten
- Calgary JCC Child Care
The case connected to the sixth daycare on the list, Calgary JCC Child Care, is a child who does not attend the site and is therefore an indirect contact, Joffe said.
“E. coli is a highly transmissible bacteria that can be spread by food or water sources, or by hand-to-mouth contact. Some secondary transmission is common and expected in significant outbreaks such as this,” he said.
At the time of the press conference, AHS had not yet confirmed the link to Calgary JCC Child Care, however, the site had been closed.
Vik Academy, which was part of the original 11 closures, has also been closed again for precautionary reasons as AHS awaits test results, Joffe said late Friday.
During QR Calgary’s Your Province, Your Premier, Saturday morning, Premier Danielle Smith said “the main message is for any parent who is involved in this initial outbreak, they have to be very very careful that they’re not inadvertently causing these kinds of secondary infections, make sure that the kids are not playing with other kids until they’ve got their second clear and go ahead that they’re clear of E. coli and then we’ll be able to contain the spread.”
Smith added she also believes a food safety course, similar in nature to the ProServe, should be a required certification for everyone involved in food preparation.
“As I understand it right now, there’s a requirement for at least one person in the kitchen to have food safety courses, but maybe everyone who works in food preparation needs to so that they know what temperatures food needs to be cooked to, how to safely transport (food and) how to make sure that there isn’t cross-contamination,” said Smith.
“But make no mistake, there will be new regulations coming.”