All staff and children at Kingspark School Dundee, Scotland have been forced to self-isolate after 17 staff and two children tested positive for coronavirus.
The school which has 185 pupils reopened on 12 August closed last Wednesday 18 August, and three other schools in Dundee have also reported positive cases in the last week.
The pupils infected are aged between five years old and 18, NHS Tayside confirmed, and the positive cases are among three “community contacts” which are linked to a cluster at the school.
Most of the children at the school have physical disabilities or medical issues, and parents received a joint letter from the NHS and local council to keep them updated.
Dr Ellie Hothersall, consultant in public health medicine with NHS Tayside said, “Since the identification of positive cases at Kingspark, a detailed contact tracing programme has been under way and these linked cases are being identified because of those concerted efforts of Test and Protect.
“We must do everything we can to protect all of our communities against Covid-19 and that is why we have issued the guidance to self-isolate.
“By taking this action we are containing any further spread of infection.we know this may cause anxiety to some parents and children but we must do everything we can to ensure we keep people safe.”
Shelagh Mclean, Fife Council’s head of education and children’s services said, “We are following public health advice and talking with our colleagues in NHS Fife about actions required regarding Covid-19.
“With their direction, we are taking all appropriate actions, including that relating to Test and Protect and contact with any confirmed case linked to one of our schools.
“A joint letter, from us and the NHS, was issued to all parents and carers in Fife at the end of last week to keep them informed.
“We’ve also issued a comprehensive list of questions and answers to help with any questions that they may have, and reminded them of their responsibilities around quarantining at www.fife.gov. uk/schoolcovidfaqs”
Dr Emma Fletcher, associate director of public health for NHS Tayside said, “The NHS Tayside Health Protection Team and colleagues in the three Health and Social Care Partnerships in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross, together with other partner agencies, determined that the reintroduction of indoor visiting should not go ahead in Tayside at this time due to the ongoing situation at the factory and a number of other clusters and positive cases.
“We know that this will cause a level of anxiety and disappointment amongst care home residents and their loved ones, however we must ensure that we do everything we can to protect care home residents, staff and their families as we continue to address the challenges that Covid-19 presents.”
There have been 110 positive cases of coronavirus at the 2 Sisters factory, including 96 workers and 14 community contacts.
Dr Fletcher added, “The increase in positive cases linked to the factory again today is in line with what we expected and we continue to undertake detailed contact tracing of all cases to ensure everyone fully understands what action they must take.
“Over the last week in Tayside as a whole, more than 2,500 tests have been taken at the testing sites across the area, including the two dedicated facilities in Coupar Angus and Dundee brought in specifically to support testing of 2 Sisters factory workers.
‘”Hundreds of workers have attended for testing and given the volume of testing which has now been completed, we expect positive cases to continue to rise in the coming days as tests are processed and we receive the results.”