The City of Toronto is “pausing” some recreational programs for the school year after a large number of its part-time employees did not show up for work this week. The municipal service department, which is responsible for running recreation centers, released a statement Friday, saying that about 50 recreation center staff members were absent Tuesday and Wednesday and that they were waiting to be vaccinated for influenza.
After two high-profile outbreaks of influenza within the city, the program manager at the Bell Ottawa Councillor, Elaina Giffin, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that vaccination would not stop the spread of the disease. “Well, we would like that, and we have taken that into consideration in the planning of activities for young children on the weekend,” Giffin said. “But we do know that flu spreads through contact, particularly contact with others who are contagious.”
At least 19 people in the city were diagnosed with influenza this week, NBC reported, including eight children, who had all contracted the virus from others and were sent home with the flu’s young- child equivalent, the Young Infants Fever and Azonto virus.
Claire Kennedy, a mother to seven-year-old son Dax, said she was concerned that so many children had died of the flu and that her son would get it just like those who had not been vaccinated.
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