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Okotoks daycare ordered to close again pending E. coli test results

VIK Academy had re-opened earlier in the week after being close in connection with an E. coli outbreak.
An Alberta Health Services notice posted on the door of VIK Academy, a daycare in Okotoks, on Sept. 6.

An update to the E. coli outbreak has closed an Okotoks daycare just four days after it reopened.

In addition to six new closures, VIK Academy in Okotoks is again closed as a precaution, pending test results, said Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mark Joffe in an update late Friday night. The Okotoks childcare centre was part of the original closures and had reopened on Sept. 12.

The other daycares that have been closed are in Calgary.

“Some of these children are connected to daycares from the original outbreak. These additional facilities will be closed, out of an abundance of caution,” Joffe said in a statement.

“Facilities 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 parents of these facilities will be directly notified as soon as possible by the operators working with Alberta Health Services.”

The six additional sites are Active Start Country Hills, CanCare Childcare–Scenic Acres location, CEFA Early Learning Childcare-South, MTC Daycare, Renert Junior Kindergarten and Calgary JCC Child Care.

“Parents and staff from all impacted daycares involved are being provided with information about what to do if they or their children experience symptoms, test positive, or have concerns about the health and safety of their child,” the statement continued. “If your child is experiencing more severe symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea, they should be taken to an emergency department immediately.

“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.”

As of Sept. 15, the number of lab-confirmed E.coli cases had reached 342 with 12 hospitalized.

Earlier on Friday, the Province announced families affected by the E. coli outbreaks would be receiving $2,000 per child that had contracted the illness.

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