Health unit will lift order on private daycare with fewer than six children

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G, PRESCOTT-RUSSELL – The Eastern Ontario Health Unit, in keeping with Ontario’s essential services list, says it will be lifting a small section of a blanket order to close all daycare and childcare centers in the region.

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis made the announcement during a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

The Ontario government lists child care services for essential workers and home child care services of less than six children, both as essential services that can stay open.

Roumeliotis’ order from Sunday allowed for the child care for front-line essential workers. It did not allow private daycare for fewer than six children.

That will be changing.

But Roumeliotis says those places with fewer than six children will have to abide by strict infection control measures.

“The caveat is, if you have less than six kids, you need to be following certain precautions. There are certain directions that we’re going to be giving them in terms of how kids are going to be spaced, screening the kids actively, and all the precautions have to be in place,” Roumeliotis said.

“But I want to make it clear that others are not (allowed to be open),” the doctor stressed.

Roumeliotis says the rest of his order on all other licenced and unlicenced daycares still stands.

The provincial order to close down all non-essential services takes effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).