Virus-hit primary stages nativity play to empty hall

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CHILDREN at a norovirus-hit school performed their nativity play to an empty hall – after parents were warned to stay away.

Parents have branded the decision to keep Mauricewood Primary, Penicuik, open – despite being hit by the virulent sickness bug – as “madness”.

Parents were urged not to attend nativity shows but children went ahead with performances of their nativity Born in a Barn and their lessons as normal.

Parent Lesley Anne Liddell said on Facebook: “There’s 119 kids off with the virus, but we’re still to take our well kids to school.

“They should close school... they’re gonna spread it. Carol concert and pantomime [are] cancelled too. Yet send them to school? Madness. There’s teachers off also. Some classes are down to 12 pupils.”

Around 125 of the 400 children at the school – and several teachers – have been struck down in the suspected norovirus outbreak. The bug can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, and while most cases pass quickly, the virus can transfer easily between people.

Councillor Bob Constable, Leader of Midlothian Council, said: “The council is working very closely with NHS Lothian to monitor the outbreak at the school.

“At this stage, there is no need for a full school closure.”