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Alberta chief medical officer of health says added sites will be closed, sanitized

The sites will be required to be cleaned, sanitized; all children will be tested to confirm their negative status
A daycare at the centre of an E-coli outbreak at several daycares is seen in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says he has been made aware of additional daycare sites in Calgary where children have tested positive for E. coli.

Dr. Mark Joffe issued a statement late Friday night (Sept. 15) saying out of an abundance of caution, the additional facilities will be closed.

He says the sites will be required to be cleaned and sanitized and all children will be tested to confirm their negative status before returning to the centre.

All facility operators have been contacted, and Joffe says parents of these facilities will be directly notified as soon as possible by the operators working with Alberta Health Services.

The statement notes some of the children who have tested positive at the added centres are connected to daycares from the original outbreak.

The new facilities are Active Start Country Hills, the Scenic Acres location of CanCare Childcare, CEFA Early Learning Childcare North, MTC Daycare, Renert Junior Kindergarten and Calgary JCC Child Care.

In addition, Joffe says Vik Academy, which was part of the original closures and had reopen, is again closed as a precaution pending testing results.

“To all the parents involved in this terrible situation, we hear you and understand what you are going through,” the statement reads. “However, it is crucial for parents who have children who attend these daycares follow the guidance being given to them by health care professionals. If your daycare is closed, please respect why this is done and keep your children at home. Only send your child to another facility if they have tested negative for E. coli and have no symptoms.”

The statement asks all daycare operators in the Calgary region to confirm the health and daycare history of children who are new to their facility.

“By working together and following health guidance, we will stop this outbreak.”

There have been 337 lab-confirmed cases of the bacterial infection related to the declared on Sept. 4.

Twelve children were still in hospital as of Friday, 10 of whom have hemolytic uremic syndrome a complication affecting the blood and kidneys.

Six of those children were receiving dialysis.

The Canadian Press