Coronavirus in Scotland: Pupil tests positive for Covid-19 in Edinburgh high school as contact tracing underway

A pupil has tested positive for Covid-19 in an Edinburgh secondary school.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 6:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 6:46 pm

Parents and carers of children at James Gillespie's High School have been sent an email confirming the case - but there is no evidence of transmission within the school itself.

The school was the first in Scotland to insist pupils and staff wore face coverings as part of efforts to combat the spread of the virus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon later made this compulsory in secondary schools in corridors, communal areas and school buses.

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James Gillespie's High School in Marchmont. Pic: TSPL

Headteacher Donald Macdonald said in the e-mail that the school is working closely with NHS Lothian's Health Protection Team and a number of people are currently being contacted because they may have been in close contact with the pupil for a duration of time and will need to self-isolate.

A further email update will be sent out as soon as the tracking and tracing process is complete.

The message says if you are not contacted, your child should attend school on Thursday as normal.

Anyone whose child has developed Covid-19 symptoms - high temperature, new continuous cough and loss or change in sense of taste or smell - should visit the NHS Inform website or for non-clinical advice call 0800 028 2816.

On August 27, Ms Sturgeon said that nearly 17,500 children in Scotland were tested over the preceding week and that only 49 were positive. This was only two more positive tests than the previous week, despite a 300 percent increase in the number of children tested.

The First Minister said this highlighted that parents should not be "unduly concerned" about the return to school for their children.

Dr Richard Othieno, consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Lothian and chair of the Incident Management Team (IMT), said: “NHS Lothian’s Health Protection Team is carrying out contact tracing in relation to a positive case of Covid-19 at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh. There is no evidence of transmission of the virus within the school at this time.

“Enhanced cleaning measures are in place at the school in line with national guidance and following a robust risk assessment by the expert group, the school will remain open and pupils should continue to attend as normal.

"Appropriate advice has been provided to parents and carers. Close contacts of the case are being told to self-isolate for 14 days and the situation will continue to be closely monitored."

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