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'Difficult situation' for families impacted by Watson Lake Daycare exposure notice

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Christmas time for children at the Watson Lake Daycare. The town's only daycare is the subject of a COVID-19 public exposure notice. Although the daycare remains open, the town's mayor says many parents are staying home with their children this week. (Watson Lake Daycare - image credit)
Christmas time for children at the Watson Lake Daycare. The town's only daycare is the subject of a COVID-19 public exposure notice. Although the daycare remains open, the town's mayor says many parents are staying home with their children this week. (Watson Lake Daycare - image credit)

Although the Watson Lake Daycare remains open, many parents are staying home with their kids who attend it after a COVID-19 exposure notice was issued on Wednesday, according to the town's mayor.

Chris Irvin acknowledged the exposure notice put many parents in "a difficult situation" as there is only one daycare in Watson Lake.

"People are staying home from work," he said. "There are some people that can afford to do that. Some people that can't."

The exposure notice was for children and staff who attended the infant group, toddler group and preschool group at the the community's only daycare on Sept. 8 and 9.

Children and staff in those groups were recommended to self-isolate until Sept. 19 and then monitor their symptoms until Sept. 23.

The after-school day care group is not affected by the exposure notice.

Staying on the safe side

Some parents with children in elementary school are also staying home with their kids this week, said Irvin, to stay on the safe side.

Irvin said no information has been released about how the COVID-19 case was brought into the daycare, and that the community at large doesn't know much about the case.

"All I can tell you at this point is we've been notified of six active cases in the community," said Irvin. "Just from talking to some of the general public, they were notified of the exposure earlier on and then there was a general notification of the daycare."

He said the community is concerned because unvaccinated children are at-risk in this case.

Watson Lake was one of Yukon's first communities to have a local outbreak, and its vaccination rate is lower than the territory's average.

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