The City of Toronto confirmed that an eight-month-old baby and four staff members at an emergency childcare centre tested positive for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, during a press conference, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that Toronto Public Health is investigating the outbreak at Jesse Ketchum Daycare and is analyzing how the virus entered the childcare centre.
In addition to the baby and four staff members who tested positive, another child was tested for the virus, but the test result was negative and another staff member is awaiting their results.
“We were concerned and disappointed to hear of the circumstances,” de Villa said.
“This is a much needed service for essential workers in our city. We know how important it is as part of our complete response to the pandemic.”
Mayor John Tory said he was also “deeply concerned” on the outbreak at Jesse Ketchum Daycare but emphasized that the “most stringent” precautionary measures were implemented in the emergency childcare centres.
“We will do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and ensure that the children and staff are properly looked after,” Tory said.
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On Tuesday, the Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre said that three staff tested positive for the virus, with two other staff and two children awaiting test results.
The Child Care Centre has suspended child care services for a period of 14 days and will undergo a deep cleaning, only reopening once approval is granted by Toronto Public Health.
An outbreak is declared when two or more individuals contract the virus.
According to the city, families who have children attending the child care centre are being notified.
For the staff and the 58 children who attended the child care centre from April 21 to April 28, they will be asked to remain at home for two weeks from their last day at the child care centre and will be excluded from all Toronto emergency child care centres as a precautionary measure for this same period.
The city’s remaining six emergency child care centres will continue to operate.