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Kinross-shire nursery closes after multiple Covid cases amongst staff and pupils

Milnathort Primary School has closed its nursery because of several coronavirus cases amongst staff and pupils
Milnathort Primary School has closed its nursery because of several coronavirus cases amongst staff and pupils

A Kinross-shire nursery school has been closed after several children and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Parents were told of the outbreak at Milnathort on Monday morning.

It was described as a “bitter sweet day” by primary school headteacher Sandra McColgan.

“On the one hand we are welcoming all our P4-P7 children back,” she wrote. “On the other hand, due to several Covid cases linked to the nursery staff and children, the nursery is currently closed.”

Milnathort Primary School staff are working with NHS Tayside, Public Health Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council’s education and children’s services to contain the outbreak.

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Families of nursery children have been told to expect correspondence detailing their isolation dates. Close contacts may also be asked to stay home for up to 10 days. They will also be asked to take a test at the start of the isolation period.

Parents and children who develop symptoms are also asked to arrange a test.

“I appreciate that this will be an anxious and worrying time,” said Miss McColgan.

Ochil and South Perthshire SNP MP John Nicolson described the outbreak as “worrying news”.

He said: “I’ve been in touch with the headteacher to offer my support.

“I can only imagine how anxious this time must be for parents, and for staff who’ve worked so hard to get the school back up and running.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Education and Children’s Services (ECS) can confirm that there has been a small cluster of confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Milnathort Primary School’s nursery.

“ECS staff are currently working with colleagues in Public Health, in line with local authority procedures and are following all related Public Health guidance.”

She said the nursery area had undergone a deep clean and would be open to those who are not close contacts of confirmed cases.

NHS Tayside declined to comment, but confirmed that an Incident Management Team (IMT) – a partnership approach usually used in large-scale outbreaks – had not been set up to monitor this cluster.

There were eight positive cases recorded throughout Perth and Kinross on Sunday, compared to four seven days earlier.

Perth and Kinross Council had said that the re-introduction of P1-P3 pupils across the region, from February 22, had gone well.

Between February 24 to March 2, there were four confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst pupils at schools, resulting in 54 pupils and five staff requiring to go into isolation.

Earlier this month, families in Kirkcaldy and Forfar were told to keep their children at home due to a small number of positive cases at two primary schools.

NHS Tayside has been involved with a significant outbreak at SSE’s operations depot in Perth. Last week, nine employees tested positive at the site, which was partly closed for a deep clean.

It was the first major cluster in Perth and Kinross since mid-February, when eight staff tested positive at Perth Fire Station.

Just 24 hours earlier, multiple positive cases were reported at Balhousie’s North Inch Care Home, and there a further outbreak at Branston’s potato packaging plant in Abernethy.

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