Covid cases at six Lothian schools

A number of pupils have been identified with Covid-19 in schools across Lothian in recent days.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 4:47 pm
Stock Picture ; John Devlin. 12/08/2020.

A total of 88 other pupils and eight members of staff, who have been in close and sustained contact with the pupils who tested positive, have been told to self isolate for 14 days as a precautionary measure to help protect other pupils and their communities.

At this time there is no evidence of transmission within the schools themselves.

The Health Protection Team in NHS Lothian has worked with single cases in six schools across Lothian’s four separate local authority areas, including at Lasswade High School, to contact trace and assess the safety measures in place, such as social distancing and enhanced cleaning.

All of the schools in Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian and East Lothian, remain open following the individual cases and parents have been told that their child should still attend, unless instructed otherwise.

Professor Alison McCallum, director of public health and health policy, said: “We have been made aware of a number of pupils who have tested positive for Covid-19 over the course of this week.

“We know this is a worrying time for them and their families, but indeed also for other people in the local school community.

“Our teams are working with schools to ensure that all of the necessary infection control measures are in place to protect other young people and their families. All of the schools remain open and parents should continue to send their children to school.”

When a person with a positive test is identified in Lothian, they will be contacted to provide a detailed list of all of their contacts in recent days. Those people will then be contacted and risk assessed.

They may then be asked to self isolate or be told to be aware and vigilant of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, such as high fever, loss of sense of smell or taste and new and persistent cough.

In the case of a school, parents in Lothian will receive a text message asking them to click through to a secure link on their schools website or an email providing information, depending in the method most commonly used in that school.

The messages will usually explain that someone in their school has tested positive and that robust contact tracing by trained health professionals is underway. If they are not contacted they should continue to send their child to school the following day.

If the process of contact tracing is likely to take some time and where possible, a second text message or email may be sent when the contact tracing process is complete to reassure parents, who may be worried that they may yet be called.

Letters containing important health advice and guidance will then be issued urging people to be aware of symptoms and continue vital infection control measures, such as handwashing and wearing a face covering.