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Highland Council confirms Omicron variant of Covid is in region's schools

By Gavin Musgrove

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Highland Council has revealed that the Omicron variant of Covid is now circulating at some schools in the Highlands.

Nicky Grant, the local authority's executive chief officer of education and learning, has provided an update for parents on the management of Covid-19 at schools.

She states: "As we countdown to Christmas and look forward to spending quality time with our loved ones over the festive period, we would like to take this opportunity to update you on the management of Covid-19 in our schools and how this has changed with the presence of the Omicron variant in Highland.

"We are aware that the Omicron variant has been identified in some of our schools. Our schools continue to work closely with the Health Protection Team and are following their advice and guidance to reduce risk of further spread of the virus.

"Where there is a case, or a suspected case, of the Omicron variant identified, the isolation guidance has additional protective measures in place to

help keep you and your loved ones safe."

The isolation guidance for Omicron is different than for other variants of Covid-19.

Health guidance is developing as knowledge of its impact improves.

Where an Omicron Covid variant is diagnosed, the following steps will be put in place:

• Positive cases will isolate for 10 days.

• Close contacts should PCR test but must also isolate for 10 days irrespective of result, age or vaccination status.

• Households of close contacts (secondary contacts) should isolate and seek a PCR test but may resume daily activity following negative tests of the whole household and as long as the household is well.

• The close contact, however, must remain in isolation for 10 days irrespective of result.

In keeping with Scottish Government’s updated policy for schools, parents of pupils in the classes involved will receive information issued by the

school, with clear instructions on what to do next.

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