Covid Scotland: Edinburgh primary teachers told to wear face masks at all times

Teachers at a prestigious capital school hit by a Covid-19 outbreak will have to wear masks at all times, after staff were not notified of a positive case.

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James Gillespie’s Primary has told parents that the school wasn’t informed of a positive case of the virus, causing a delay in close contacts being notified.

It’s not known if it was a pupil or staff member but has sparked fears among parents as the school also reported a rise in covid-19 cases since the start of term.

Gillespie's primary on Whitehouse Loan has stepped up covid-19 measures

In a letter to parents the head teacher, Colin McLean, outlined ways they were increasing covid-19 prevention measures, including reintroduction of mask wearing for all adults.

Mr Mclean said: “We have become aware of school recently not being notified of a positive case. This causes a delay in contacting those who may be at risk of Covid.

“We are also noticing a rise in cases. So far since the start of the school year we have been notified of 13 positive cases. These have been predominantly, but not exclusively, in the older year groups. We have now re-introduced face coverings for adults at all times (and not only when moving around the campus). We have also focussed our CO2 monitoring and additional natural and mechanical ventilation in classes. This means classrooms will be cooler than normal so please remind your children to bring warm layers to school."

“We are encouraging families to use the free LFD home testing kits every 2 days. These are easy to use and identify people who are not yet showing symptoms. This helps stop the spread in school.”

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One concerned parent told the Evening News: “It has been a really stressful and emotional time. Adults wearing masks at all times, even outside at playground or after school club is a concern. What about the impact this will have on the communication between staff and children as well as children’s social and language development. Seeing faces and expressions is crucial for younger ones. This all feels like it will never end.”

A spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council said: “With cases remaining high in our schools there may be times when additional mitigation measures are put in place. It’s important that everyone in the city plays their part in limiting the transmission of the virus.”

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