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Warn & Inform letter from NHS Health Protection Team (Lothian) to Parents & Carers of all pupils

Lothian NHS Board
Health Protection Team
Waverley Gate
2-4 Waterloo Place
Edinburgh
EH1 3EG

www.nhslothian.scot

Advice to Parents/Carers

Dear Parent/Carer

In recent days we have been made aware of members of the Gracemount High School community in S1 who have tested positive for COVID-19. This letter is to inform you that your child has been identified as having been in ‘low risk’ contact with this person. This means they may have shared a classroom or had some other low risk contact in school.

There is no need for your child to isolate or take daily LFD tests at present unless contacted separately by Test and Protect and asked to do so. School remains open and your child should continue to attend if they are well.

The public health judgement that these types of contact are low risk is based on a range of factors, including vaccination rates, evidence about transmission from children and young people, and the low risk of direct health harms to children.

If your child or anyone in your household develops any symptoms of COVID-19, the symptomatic person must not come to school, they must self-isolate and should have a PCR test as soon as possible. The rest of the household are not required to self-isolate whilst the test result is awaited, but they are advised to do daily LFD tests and monitor closely for any symptoms developing. Further information and guidance can be found in NHS Inform. Further information on testing can also be found on www.nhsinform.scot or by phoning 119 if you cannot book online.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of: new continuous cough; high temperature; or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

Please be reassured that for most people coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. Children are at particularly low risk of illness from coronavirus infection and, although our understanding of the Omicron variant is evolving, there is no evidence of a higher risk at present. For those people who are eligible, vaccination is highly effective at preventing severe disease.

To help reduce the risk to your family and your school community, please also ensure your child takes a lateral flow test before returning to school.  This can help reduce the likelihood of spread in schools, by catching infections early.

Please also note the following: 

  • If your child is in primary school, you can support them to take a test before returning if you and they are comfortable in doing so. There is no need for your child to continue to test regularly as part of attending primary school.
  • If your child is in secondary school, they should take a test before returning wherever possible, and continue to test regularly (twice-weekly) thereafter.
  • Free at-home LFD test kits are available for you and your primary-school aged children by collection from COVID test centres or pharmacies, or delivery by ordering online. More information can be found at: www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/no-covid-symptoms.
  • Free test kits are available to all secondary school children from the school. Please contact the school directly if they have any problems accessing tests.
  • Please ensure that all test results, whether positive, negative or void, are recorded on the online portal at: www.covidtest.scot OR by phoning 119.

In addition please:

  • Arrange vaccination as soon as possible, if you or anyone eligible in your family have not yet been vaccinated. www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine. Vaccination is our best defence against COVID-19 causing anyone to become seriously unwell.
  • Adopt additional caution if meeting with friends or family who you know to be at higher levels of risk.
  • Wear a face covering in line with guidance, keep your distance, keep rooms ventilated, and wash your hands with soap and water regularly.

You can find more trusted advice on www.nhsinform.scot.

Yours faithfully

Health Protection Team

NHS Lothian

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