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Thurso school one of 60 in Highlands to be affected by Covid-19


By Gordon Calder

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Pennyland primary in Thurso is one of 60 schools in the Highlands to be affected by Covid-19.

A third of schools across Highland have been impacted since the new term began last week.

NHS Highland health protection has advised a number of pupils and staff 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.

Pennyland school in Thurso is one of 60 in the Highlands to be affected by Covid-19
Pennyland school in Thurso is one of 60 in the Highlands to be affected by Covid-19

A Highland Council spokeswoman described the situation as "fast-moving" and said: "Pupils at primaries four and five at Pennyland can return to school on Monday provided they have no Covid-19 symptoms.

She added: "Letters have been issued to all parents/carers in the schools or year groups affected. Head teachers continue to work with health protection colleagues to manage Covid-19 cases in individual schools. Those individuals advised to self-isolate by the NHS health protection team must not attend school, all other pupils should continue to attend school as normal. Online learning will be made available for those who are isolating but, otherwise, remain well.”

Education Committee Chair, Cllr 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 yr-olds in Highland are now vaccinated and this is excellent news and will, hopefully, lessen any impact of the virus in time.”

Dr Jenny Wares, NHS Highland consultant in public health medicine, said: “There is no single situation driving the numbers up and we are experiencing sustained community transmission. Covid-19 is spreading very rapidly and the impact on families, local schools and businesses remains significant."

She added: "It is so important that we remain vigilant for symptoms. The typical symptoms are a new continuous cough, a high temperature or fever and a loss of, or change in, normal taste or smell. However, people with Covid-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting. Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and book a PCR test."

Families, pupils and staff are urged to take all necessary precautions as directed by NHS and are reminded to:

Wear face masks (unless exempt)

Regular handwashing

Testing using LFD tests when you have no symptoms, twice weekly is recommended

No one should attend school if they are experiencing symptoms.

Covid-19 symptoms are typically:

A new continuous cough

High temperature or fever.

Loss or change in taste or smell.

However, symptoms can include headache, sore muscles and joints and tiredness, sore throat, cold like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting. Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and seek a PCR test.


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