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Childcare centres in Ontario concerned about limited N95 mask supply from province

Some childcare providers say they've only been given enough supply to last a week or two.
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The heads of some childcare centres in Ontario say they've received limited supplies of N95 masks from the provincial government and no indication as to when they will be replenished. 

Lori Prospero, CEO of RisingOaks Early Learning, says she's "really thankful" for the N95 masks that the province recently provided for daycares. 

But she says between the eight RisingOaks centres she oversees, which are all in the Waterloo region, there are only enough masks to last staff for about a week or two.

Prospero says the centres have received no word from the government as to when more N95 masks will arrive, how many they will receive, or how regularly supplies will be replenished. 

Christa O’Connor, executive director of Creative Beginnings Childcare Centre, says her organization received 240 masks in total for its two locations in the Waterloo region for 56 staff, which she says would last them about four days. 

In Toronto, Blossoming Minds Learning Centre executive director Maggie Moser says her centre has received 120 masks to supply a total of 40 staff – enough for about three days. 

Moser says her centre has gone ahead and ordered 160 N95 masks, the maximum that could be ordered from a certain manufacturer, for about $300.

She says the centre plans to order more in the future, depending on the number of masks supplied from the government. 

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the province has "exceeded the advice of public health by purchasing and delivering N95s to all education and child care staff." 

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