COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Smithers daycare closes due to COVID-19 exposure

Little Horizons not mandated to close, but chose to after staff member tested positive

Bulkley Valley Little Horizons Childcare has closed due to an exposure of COVID-19 at the centre.

In a Facebook post this afternoon the childcare centre said a staff member had tested positive for the virus and anyone who had been in close contact with the staff member had been contacted directly by public health.

“Please know and understand that due to the very low risk circumstance, we were at no point mandated to close but rather recommended by Northern Health to stay open but chose to close anyway,” the post stated.

READ MORE: COVID-19 exposure reported for Smithers Secondary School

A letter from the Northern Health Authority says the exposure occurred Dec. 9 -10 and people who had been in close contact with the infected person have been notified personally.

It defines close contact as anyone who has been in “direct, face-to-face contact for prolonged periods of time with an infectious case.”

Rumours of a day care exposure had surfaced earlier, but no public notice was issued.

READ MORE: Hazelton man shares the bad, ugly and good of his battle with COVID-19

Eryn Collins, a spokesperson for Northern Health told The Interior News the health authority is not mandated to publicly disclose daycare exposures as they are with schools.

“Exposure to a confirmed case does not mean you or your child will become, sick — and this is especially the case with children,” the Northern Health letter stated. “COVID-19 has a very low infection rate in children and most are not at high risk. This is why childcare settings are open and schools reopened in September.”

Little Horizons’ Facebook post noted that Michelle and Kelsey will be at the daycare every morning for the rest of the week so that parents can pick up their child’s belongings.

“We appreciate your kindness, understanding and empathy through this process and we wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday,” the daycare staff said in the Facebook post.

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