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Cairns childcare centre closes doors after Covid case confirmed



Families and staff at Pelican Day Care Centre at Westcourt are being contacted by Queensland Health.Pelican daycare is owned by ASX-listed company G8 Education, which provided a statement to the Cairns Post.“We have been informed by Queensland Health this morning that an individual who attended Pelicans In The City on December 24 has returned a positive test result for Covid,” the spokeswoman said.“As communicated to our families and team members this morning, the centre has been temporarily closed from today, December 29, while the centre completes a professional decontamination.“Contact tracing is under way to identify any potential close contacts,” she said.No date for reopening has been set.Tropical Public Health Services public health medical officer Dr Annie Preston-Thomas confirmed a child who attended the day care centre had Covid.“Tropical Public Health Services is working with the centre to inform all staff and families who were at the centre on the days the child was potentially infectious to advise them they may be close contacts and need to quarantine,” she said. “The daycare centre will not be listed as an exposure site as the centre has a record of everyone who visited on the relevant dates. “All families and staff are being directly contacted. “While children generally do not become severely unwell from Covid, they may act as a means of transmission to adults – parents or carers,” she said. “This is a timely reminder for all parents to take sick children for testing, even if it is just a runny nose.“It is not yet clear where the child contracted Covid, which indicates that the virus is circulating in the Cairns community,” Dr Preston-Thomas said. Parent Margaret Milutinovic of Clifton Beach, picking up her 22-month old child today, was not too concerned and praised the way the centre had handled the situation.“They have been very good,” she said.But she was concerned if her child had Covid and was asymptomatic, it would have a flow-on effect for her two teenage children.“My 14-year-old works at McDonald’s, so could be a close contact, and my eldest works at the Coffee Club, so again, it could affect her workplace,” Mrs Milutinovic said.However, she said if her child had Covid, she would have tested positive herself, but had twice tested negative in recent days.G8 Education has Pelicans in the City building one and building two at 148-152 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt, as well as Pelicans in the Park Childcare at 32-36 Arthur St, Edge Hill.Its website has a comprehensive Covid update page stating that the health and safety of children, families, team members and communities remain its highest priority.“While young children are currently unable to be vaccinated, it is globally recognised that one of the most effective ways to protect them from the risk of contracting Covid-19 is to vaccinate the adults around them,” the statement said.A federal government fact sheet states the number of cases of Covid in children is low – 4.5 per cent of cases have been in school aged children aged between five and 17 years.“The virus can infect children, however, they are less likely to have symptoms,” it states.“Their symptoms are milder and they are less likely to develop severe illness.“Most children become inflected through contact with an infected adult member of their household.” Where to get tested FNQ

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