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Schools in Grantown, Kingussie and Aviemore hit by rise in Covid cases

By Andrew Dixon

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Culloden Academy in Inverness.
Culloden Academy in Inverness.

A third of schools across Highland in primary, secondary and early learning settings are being hit by positive Covid-19 cases or localised outbreaks.

Highland Council stated secondary schools in Culloden, Grantown, Kingussie 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.

Highland Council's executive chief officer for education and learning, Nicky Grant, said: “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.

Council education committee chairman 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 per cent – of over 16-year-olds in Highland are now vaccinated and this is excellent news and will hopefully lessen any impact of the virus in time.”

Related article: Vigilance urged in Inverness-shire as Highland schools feel impact of Covid case increase

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