Manitoba child care workers and a range of other social services working with vulnerable people will now be able to return to work with a negative COVID-19 test, even if they have mild symptoms.
The changes were described in a Manitoba Families memo obtained by Global News that circulated in the area on Friday.
It applies to early learning and child care facilities, community living service providers for people with disabilities, group caregivers of child and family services, and shelters for children. homeless and victims of domestic violence.
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The note indicates that symptomatic staff can return to work if three conditions are met.
The person must have tested negative from a provincial testing site or received two negative test results from self-administered tests 24 hours apart.
The person should also have mild symptoms that improve and be fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
Jodie Kehl, executive director of the Manitoba Child Care Association, says individual facilities may or may not choose to use the updated protocols.
“I think it’s important that families have access to child care as they continue to return to work. I think it’s really important that children have access to child care so that they have continuity and consistency in their lives. But I also think it’s critical that our early childhood educators are protected during this time, ”Kehl said.
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“We therefore call on the province to ensure that it protects and supports our early childhood educators by providing the N95 masks, as well as a solid supply of their rapid tests so that they can continue to test all staff.” to make sure it is a safe and healthy environment.
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Kehl encourages families to keep the line of communication open with their daycares not only to stay on top of their protocols, but also to be aware of staffing issues.
“I think families also need to be prepared that with these increased staff shortages there may be a chance that daycares have to close cohorts, may have to cut enrollments, may have to cut back hours. openness, ”Kehl said.
“So I would advise families to make sure they have back-up child care plans in case their facility is unable to provide them with this safe, healthy and licensed child care.”
Kehl added that the staff shortages are not new, but have been grossly exacerbated since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global News has contacted the province to learn more about the changes, but did not receive a response on Sunday.
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