The owner of a private Salmon Arm daycare that has experienced a positive COVID-19 test says the stigma and rumours circulating in the community presently seem worse than the virus itself.
Leigh-Anne Chapman, the owner of the Ladybug Landing Child Care Centre, said the contact tracing process Interior Health (IH) went through to determine who was at risk after a member of the daycare community tested positive was very thorough. She said she spoke with an IH employee on the phone for three and a half hours so the health authority could determine who was in close contact with the person who tested positive.
As Chapman was going through Interior Health’s process, she said rumours with incorrect information about the positive COVID-19 test at the daycare were circulating in the community. She said parents of some of the children who attend the daycare were questioned as to why they were still letting their kids attend school.
Interior Health sent a memo to families who use the daycare dated Jan. 17 which states someone tested positive for the virus and is now self-isolating. The memo said the health authority was contact tracing to determine if anyone at the daycare was in close contact with the infected person, and if more people would need to self isolate.
As with the recent notices sent to parents of students at Salmon Arm schools with positive COVID-19 cases, the one sent to the daycare families stressed it is up to the health authority to determine who needs to self isolate. The notice stated those not contacted by the health authority are not at risk of developing the virus and that children should keep going to school while contact tracing is underway.
Chapman said that following an in-person visit from an Interior Health employee, she was told the health authority had no suggestions for anything she could be doing differently to make the daycare more COVID-safe.
“I’m in awe of the process and I appreciate how thorough they were,” Chapman said of the health authority’s follow-up to the positive test.
Chapman stressed there is no one to blame for the positive test and thinks that the negativity she has seen is the product of fear and ignorance. She said the daycare is an essential service which the children and families in the community have a right to continue using.
As negativity swirled outside, Chapman said the families who send their kids to the daycare were uniformly supportive, ad that she has never appreciated the daycare community more than over the past few days.