Reporting outbreaks to Ottawa Public Health

A Child Care Centre should report an Outbreak of Illness to Ottawa Public Health (OPH)

When there are three or more cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness (child and/or staff) within a program, group, or the entire centre in a three (3) day period, even if cases occurred at home
If there are one or more case(s) of a reportable enteric disease in the centre (see below)
If there is greater than 15% absenteeism due to illness within a program or entire centre on one day.

When an outbreak is suspected, implement outbreak control measures:

  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and common areas
  • Post signs to alert staff and parents or guardians of increased absenteeism or outbreak
  • Clean and disinfect toys and play areas twice daily and when visibly soiled
  • Exclude ill children and staff
  • If possible, keep ill children in a separate supervised area until a parent or guardian takes them home
  • Be diligent to perform hand hygiene

Report to OPH

If an outbreak is suspected or you are uncertain if you have an outbreak, call OPH Outbreak Reporting Line at 613-580-6744 ext 26325, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or 3-1-1 after hours.

If an outbreak is confirmed by OPH, fax the line listing to OPH at 613-580-9649 on a daily basis until the outbreak is declared over by OPH.

Do you have children absent with other illnesses?

Refer to the Guidelines for Communicable Disease and Other Childhood Health Issues for Schools and Child Care Centres

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