Emergency child-care centres to reopen after COVID-19 scare

The Dr. E. Couture Child Care Centre and the Esther By Child Care Centre were both shut down earlier this week after a pair of employees fell ill.

2 of 3 centres for children of essential workers closed earlier this week

Three preschool kids play with colourful blocks.
Two out of the three emergency child-care centres for essential workers in Ottawa were closed this week while staff waited for the results of their COVID-19 tests — tests that have now come back negative. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Two Ottawa child-care centres for children of essential workers have been allowed to reopen after two ill staff members tested negative for COVID-19.

The Dr. E. Couture Child Care Centre and the Esther By Child Care Centre, two of three such daycares in the city, were shut down while the sick employees waited for their rest results.

Both results returned negative, said Donna Gray, general manager for Ottawa's community and social services, in a memo to city council.

The Dr. E. Couture Child Care Centre, near Riverside Drive and Bank Street, reopened Saturday. The Esther By Child Care Centre, near Carlington Park, is scheduled to reopen its doors on Monday.

Thirteen families were in self-isolation while the sick staff members waited for the results.   

The city's third child-care centre for essential employees is Centre Éducatif Tournesol, located in Vanier.

"As a result of COVID-19 and the related preventative measures, it is anticipated that future temporary closures or service disruptions will occur," Gray said in the memo.

The emergency daycares provide free child care for employees like doctors, first responders and other essential workers listed under Ontario's emergency order.

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