By BERNIE BELLAN The first confirmed cases of Covid at one of the day care centres operated by the Rady JCC have occurred at the centre on Grosvenor Avenue.
That centre, which has 48 children attending, has been divided into three equal cohorts during the pandemic, none of which have any contact with one another.
On January 27, the first case of Covid was diagnosed in someone who was part of what is known as the “green room” cohort. On January 28 a representative of Public Health contacted management of the day care to inform them that a case had been confirmed. Public Health did not disclose whether the case of Covid was in a staff member or a child. Parents of all children in the day care were informed immediately and the entire day care was closed January 28 and 29 (which were a Thursday and a Friday). Parents and children belonging to the green room cohort were ordered to isolate for 14 days (until Feb. 11).
On February 1, the other two rooms – the blue and yellow rooms, were allowed to reopen; however, on February 2, parents of children in the blue room were informed that there had been a case of Covid confirmed in that room as well. Parents of children in the blue room were also ordered to isolate for 14 days.
At that point, however, unlike the first case that had been confirmed in the green room, parents of children in the yellow room were not informed that another case of Covid had been confirmed – this time in the blue room. Although the blue room was also now closed (and will remain closed until February 16), parents of children in the yellow room were not informed officially of the second confirmed case of Covid until February 11.
It was on Friday, February 12, that management of the Rady JCC informed parents of all children in the day care by way of an email sent from Rady JCC executive director Rob Berkowits that a total of six cases had been confirmed in the green and blue rooms (four in the green, and two in the blue).
In the email sent to parents on February 12, parents were also told that Public Health now defined the situation at the day care on Grosvenor as an “outbreak” situation on its website.
A spokesperson for the Rady JCC day cares told us that the rules as to what constituted an “outbreak” had been changing over time and that it was not at all certain that the number of cases at the Grosvenor day care had constituted an “outbreak” according to Public Health – until management of the day care was so advised by Public Health on February 10.
Subsequently, on February 13, we were contacted by one parent of a child in the daycare who expressed concern at what she described as “a lack of communication” about the situation at the daycare.
At that point we contacted Rob Berkowits to try to obtain some clarification as to why parents were not informed there was an “outbreak” at the Grosvenor day care until February 11.
As noted, Rob explained that Public Health did not inform the Rady JCC that Public Health classified what had happened at the day care as an “outbreak” until February 10.
I asked him though, why there had not been any disclosure to parents until February 11 that a total of six cases of Covid had been confirmed at the day care.
Rob said, “We’re consistently learning and navigating this – just like anyone else…Public Health has been changing its rules and how it defines an outbreak… I think we’ve been navigating this with as great a degree of transparency as we possibly can.”