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E. coli outbreak at Calgary daycare centres is over, Alberta Health Services says

The E. coli outbreak that was declared in September and infected hundreds of kids at several Calgary daycares is now over, Alberta Health Services (AHS) said in a release on Tuesday.

A total of 11 sites, including six branches of the daycare service and five other locations that shared a central kitchen, have been declared outbreak-free, AHS said.

The outbreak left 38 kids and one adult hospitalized. Doctors diagnosed 23 patients with severe illness or hemolytic uremic syndrome while eight received peritoneal dialysis.

No fatalities were reported and all patients have been discharged from the hospital, AHS said, adding that 1,581 kids who were linked to the outbreak have now been cleared by doctors to return to daycare.

Central kitchen still closed

Meanwhile, AHS is still monitoring a few patients whose tests remain positive for E. coli. They will need a clearance letter from the AHS before resuming work or heading back to a daycare facility.

The central kitchen that was connected to the outbreak remains shut. “At this time the criteria for rescinding the order have not been met,” AHS said. 

“In order for the kitchen to reopen, the closure order must be rescinded by AHS, which requires multiple steps including a food safety plan submitted to and approved by AHS.”

The statement noted that while the outbreak is over, there’s a lot of work that remains to be done, such as providing support to those impacted by the outbreak and still struggling with E. coli-positive reports.

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