Shocked parents of children at two Perthshire schools say they were left in the dark about confirmed Covid cases until after they had dropped off their children for class.
One pupil at Oakbank Primary School in Perth and a second at Newhill Primary School in Blairgowrie have tested positive for Covid-19 and been told to self-isolate.
However, many parents were left unaware of the positive cases after Perth and Kinross Council and NHS Tayside only released the information to the public shortly before midnight on Monday.
The Courier spoke to parents and grandparents at the gates of the schools this morning. They told us they had been left with little, and in some cases, zero warning of the cases among pupils.
Parents at Newhill Primary School said there appeared to be fewer pupils walking to lessons this morning, suggesting some families have chosen to keep their children off school.
Susan Wilson, whose daughter Tianna attends Newhill Primary, said: “It is a worry. I’ve been shielding until very recently because of problems with my immune system.
“It looks like they’re on top of this for now, but if there are any more cases I will probably take my daughter out of school.”
A mother at Oakbank said she was only made aware of the situation after leaving the school.
She told The Courier: “I’m just finding out now after dropping my kids off. It would have been nice to know beforehand, but I would have dropped them off anyway.
“But it’s up to parents to make these choices. They (Perth and Kinross Council and NHS Tayside) should have given us a bit of a heads-up.”
Kathleen Bones, whose child is in P6 at Newhill, said: “I only found out after the NHS made the announcement at midnight.
“I’d read rumours on Facebook in the evening, but I didn’t know if they were true.”
She said: “It’s concerning, but it sounds like they are doing everything they can to contain it. I wouldn’t want them to have to close the school.”
A father at Oakbank said: “We found out about it this morning. We should have been given more time.
“We are worried because coronavirus is not good and there is no masks or anything at the school.”
Another mum at Oakbank said she had still heard nothing directly from the school or council informing her of the situation.
‘I went into a bit of panic’
She said: “I only heard this morning through the news. I haven’t heard anything from the school.
“I would have liked to have known beforehand. I went into a bit of panic this morning when I saw the news.”
Other parents at Newhill Primary said they only found out this morning, while mum only found out when she was approached by The Courier.
Jacquie Pepper, the council’s depute director of education and children’s services at Perth & Kinross Council, said: “We hope both children who have tested positive for Covid-19 make a full and speedy recovery.
‘A worrying time for parents’
“We have worked closely with NHS Tayside’s Health Protection Team and wish to reassure parents that all settings which these pupils have attended during their infectious period have been identified. Close contacts have been asked to self-isolate as a precaution.
“This will be a worrying time for parents. However, there is no evidence of wider transmission and children should attend school as normal.”