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Managing Outbreaks in Schools/Child Care Centres

Schools and Chilc Care Centres can be places where increased illness in the community shows up. Teachers and early childhood educators might notice that increasing numbers of children are leaving the facility sick or calling in sick, or that staff are sick.
 
The health unit welcomes calls if there are concerns about increasing illness at school or daycare. As a guideline, when absence due to illness exceeds 10% of the normal attendance, that is a good time to call. 10% absent is not an indicator that there is an "outbreak", it is just a guideline.
 
The health unit will connect with your facility to talk about additional cleaning practices, how to support your facility's policies on children staying home when sick, or to provide any other resources or assistance.
 
It is important to remember that the best time to have excellent cleaning and preventive policies is BEFORE you see an increase in illness. Please contact us at any time for assistance with creating, revising, or reviewing policies and procedures that promote an environment of prevention.
 
Very rarely there may be an outbreak associated with a school or daycare. Examples may include common exposure to contaminated food or water related to the facility, or specific communicable diseases that spread quickly and cause severe illness in a short period of time. Most community-based viruses like colds, influenza, and "tummy bugs" would not be considered a school or daycare outbreak.
 
If you have any questions or concerns about infection control, please contact a public health inspector.