Toronto to curb some early childhood programs for unvaccinated children

The City of Toronto announced on Thursday that it had “paused” some recreational programs in some districts for children under 5 after seven employees with unvaccinated children came down with gastrointestinal illness.

One staff member has tested positive for norovirus, which is also a cause of food poisoning. Two workers whose children were hospitalized are on medical leave; as is one who can no longer work in light of her illness. The other five employees whose children have been diagnosed with the highly contagious gastrointestinal illness are still in school.

“Our staff, our students and our staff members are an essential part of our health care system,” Mr. Balsillie said in a statement. “Unfortunately, three children and five staff members have recently fallen ill with gastrointestinal illnesses and are treated at Queensway Carleton Hospital for a variety of symptoms. As a result, we have paused some recreational programming for children under five for a couple of weeks.”

The city said that children in Ontario are required to be vaccinated for five different diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, polio and chicken pox.

Mr. Balsillie added that the City of Toronto, and the province, “need to be more vigilant” about medical conditions that could prevent employees from working as full-time and part-time staff on immunization days, noting that workers exposed to cancer-causing substances are required to get a booster shot.

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