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Monday, May 20, 2024

Localised COVID-19 Outbreaks Affecting Many Schools Across Highland

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A third of schools across Highland in Primary, Secondary and ELC settings are affected by positive COVID-19 cases or localised outbreaks.

Secondary schools in Grantown, Kingussie, Culloden and Lochaber currently have a significant number of year groups self- isolating.

Aviemore, Pennyland and Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar are some of the primary schools that are affected by outbreaks, with partial closures of Aviemore Primary, Pennyland and a one-day closure of Alvie Primary required.

Schools are communicating with all parents/carers under the guidance of NHS Health Protection Team.

NHS Highland health protection have advised a number of pupils and staff across the Highland region to self-isolate for either 10 days or until a negative PCR test result is confirmed in order to stem the rapid transmission of the virus.

Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning, Nicky Grant said:

“The Highland Council continues to work in partnership with NHS Highland’s Health Protection to manage a number of COVID-19 outbreaks in school settings.

“It is vital that parents/carers and pupils take protective measures set out for schools and follow the advice from the Health Protection Team on receiving any letters about local cases.

“Online learning or home learning material will be available for those who are isolating but, otherwise, remain well.”

Those required to self-isolate with no COVID-19 symptoms will continue with learning at home, the Education and Learning Directorate will support Schools in delivering a robust home learning programme.

As well as being vigilant for symptoms, families and school pupils and staff are advised to remain cautious and continue to take all necessary precautions as directed by NHS.

Wear face masks (unless exempt)

Regular handwashing

Testing using LFD tests when you have no symptoms, twice weekly is recommended

No one should attend school if they are experiencing symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms are typically:

A new continuous cough

High temperature or fever

Loss or change in taste or smell

People with COVID-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints and tiredness, sore throat, cold like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting.

Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and seek a PCR test.

Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said:

“The exponential increase in cases, while to be expected due to the recent relaxation of measures, is having a significant impact on our education settings.

“We urge that communities remain vigilant and everyone takes the necessary precautions and does what they can to slow the spread of the virus.”

He added:

“We understand that a high proportion (81%) of over 16yr olds in Highland are now vaccinated and this is excellent news and will hopefully lessen any impact of the virus in time.”

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