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Breaking: Staff and pupils test positive for Covid-19 in Dundee school outbreak

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Less than two weeks after Scottish schools returned, seventeen members of staff and two pupils have tested positive for coronavirus at a school in Dundee.

Three “community contacts” linked to Kingspark School also tested positive for COVID-19 as of 6pm on Sunday, NHS Tayside said.

The school, which caters for children aged five to 18 with additional support needs, has been closed since last Wednesday due to the outbreak and pupils have been told to self-isolate for 14 days from last Thursday.

Any parents, carers or siblings living with the children should also self-isolate if they cannot self-distance within the household.

Staff have been told to quarantine for a fortnight from the last day they were on site, while anybody who was in contact with those infected has also been told to self-isolate for 14 days.

Contact tracing identified a link with two other schools in Dundee, with one Primary Two child at St Peter and Paul’s School testing positive on Sunday and another case identified at the Happy Times out-of-school club at Downfield Primary School on Sunday.

The outbreak at Kingspark School, which has 185 pupils, came after schools reopened in Scotland from 11 August.

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed the outbreak on Monday and said: “Let me stress the importance of these rules on self-isolation.

“Self-isolation is a crucial way, perhaps the most important way, of keeping clusters like this under control.”

The first minister also announced a consultation into a recommendation for secondary school children to wear face coverings is in its final stages after the World Health Organisation advised over the weekend pupils aged 12 and over should wear them.

A Downing Street spokesman said there are “no plans” to review the current guidance in England for face coverings in schools – which is to not make them mandatory.

“We are conscious of the fact that it would obstruct communication between teachers and pupils,” he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson led calls for pupils in England to return to school in September, saying their “life chances” will suffer if they do not return to school, having been out of school since March.

The UK’s four chief medical officers said “very few, if any” children would come to long-term harm from the virus by attending school while there was a “certainty” of harm from not attending.

Dr Jenny Harries, England’s deputy chief medical officer, told Sky News on Monday the risk of catching seasonal flu or being involved in a road accident is “higher” for children going to school than contracting coronavirus.

Olexhome

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