Late last week the Early Learning and Child Care ((ELCC) sponsored a webinar with updates to Public Health measures to case and contact management. OMICRON has changed Public Health approach because this virus has changed so dramatically. Public Health has reported that the response to the Pandemic show that severe outcomes among children remain LOW. What does this mean for procedures at Discovery? This information is being shared from the ”Early Learning and Childcare Practice Guidance” (January 2022 version)
Child care facilities are no longer required to identify close contacts in cohorts with a positive case, and attendance of children and staff at the facility will be based on symptom screening. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are now required to notify their own close contacts. Guidance and instructions for notifying close contacts is available on the Manitoba Health website at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/testing/monitoring/index.html . With the widespread transmission of the Omicron variant of concern, the short incubation period of the virus, and the inability to identify many cases due to mild or asymptomatic disease, contact tracing is no longer as effective. Contacts will already be exposed and many will already be symptomatic by the time of notification. Many cases are asymptomatic and undetected.
- Public health will not be notifying child care facilities of staff or children who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals who are exposed in a child care facility can continue to attend as long as they remain asymptomatic.
- Families and staff members should be encouraged to report positive cases and symptoms to the child care facility. Please send results to email@example.com.
- Children or staff exposed to COVID-19 in the child care setting may continue to attend child care if they are asymptomatic regardless of their immunization status.
- If children or staff become symptomatic, they should follow public health isolation requirements as a presumed case. They must isolate.
- Close contacts, exposed to COVID-19 in other locations, such as a household close contact or from contact outside of the school or child care setting must self-isolate (quarantine) for 10 days from the last exposure unless exempt.
- After self-isolation (quarantine), close contacts can then return to child care, school and other activities as long as they are asymptomatic.
EXEMPTIONS FROM ISOLATION
- Exemptions for close contacts from self-isolation (quarantine) include
- anyone who is asymptomatic and fully immunized (i.e. two weeks since their last dose of the vaccine series) at time of exposure and do not have a medical condition (e.g., immunocompromised) that would impact vaccine effectiveness),
- or were recently infected (i.e. within the previous six months).
- Household close contacts who are exempt from self-isolation (quarantine) are eligible to receive rapid test kits at provincial test sites to monitor for asymptomatic transmission. (A household contact is defined as someone who is living with an individual who is presumed or confirmed positive for COVID-19).
Discovery will be monitoring absenteeism and keep track of absences of staff and children due to self-reported COVID-19 cases and respiratory illness. In the event that there is a significant increase in transmission of COVID-19 identified in a cohort within 14 days, Public Health will be notified to obtain additional guidance.
A weekly report will be posted on Discovery’s blog indicating the number of staff and children who have reported a positive test result. The cohorts where the positive cases have been reported will be included in this statement. The identity of individuals WILL NOT BE SHARED.
Positive cases reported
January 22 to January 28
- *2 children in zone 4 *Both children were not in attendance during the infectious period
Screening for symptoms is important to identify any potential cases of COVID-19 as quickly as possible, before exposure to others.
If the screening checklist has advised you not to enter the child care facility, please self isolate and call Health Links or go to the online screening tool located at: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/
If you have questions feel free to contact management at firstname.lastname@example.org