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Praise for families during challenging times for schools amid surge of Covid cases

By Gavin Musgrove

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Highland Council's chief executive has praised parents and carers for their patience and support in the past fortnight during the 'very challenging circumstances' caused by the surge in Covid cases at schools across the region.

Donna Manson said the local authority is continuing to work closely with NHS Highlands' Health Protection Team to make parents and families aware of how reported positive cases are managed within its schools.

She said: "I wish to express my sincere thanks to all parents and carers for their patience and support in the last two weeks in these very challenging circumstances that we have faced."

The latest public health advice is as follows:

* Children who are sick should not attend school and where a child has symptoms that could be from Covid they should stay at home and have a PCR test booked. Once well and with a negative PCR test, they can return to school.

* If a case of Covid arises in a member of staff or student at a school, letters will be issued to those who have been in contact with the case which will explain what action needs to be taken.

* There will be no need for school contacts to self-isolate unless they are contacted by Test and Protect. In the event of further cases in the school, additional action will be taken and in the event of a significant outbreak advice will be sought from the Health Protection Team and actions undertaken depending on the specific circumstances.

Outlining the process, Ms Manson said: "We will work together to inform parents and carers where there is a confirmed case of the virus in their school.

"In keeping with Scottish Government’s updated policy for school settings, parents of pupils in the classes involved will also receive information issued by the school, with clear instructions on what to do next.

"Further known or suspected cases within the school are immediately referred to the Health Protection Team who then risk assess the situation and coordinate the response and any communication around this.

"We are sharing information as readily as we can, but we must also protect confidential patient information and can only issue health related information and advice approved by the Health Protection Team."

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