Kirkcaldy school to stay closed until next week after three staff test positive for Covid-19

A Kirkcaldy school has been closed following an outbreak of Covid-19 among staff.

All pupils of Sinclairtown Primary School were told on Wednesday morning to stay at home three days after it emerged that an individual linked with the school had tested positive.

Three staff members have now been confirmed to have the virus and all teachers have been told to self-isolate.

The school will remain closed until Monday for staffing reasons as investigations continue.

Risk to children low

NHS Fife said all those with the virus had mild symptoms and were isolating at home with their households.

It also stressed to worried parents that there remained no evidence of transmission among pupils and, based on the information available, it believed the risk to children remained low.

Pupils in three classes – P1a, P2 and P4 – previously identified as potential contacts were also told they should continue to self isolate but NHS Fife said there was no need for other pupils to do so.

Consultant in public health medicine Dr Lorna Watson said: “NHS Fife’s health protection team is working closely with our colleagues at Fife Council’s education department to identify any close contacts of the positive cases in order to prevent onward spread of the virus.

“Contact tracing is a tried and tested method of reducing the spread of communicable viruses such as Covid-19 and has been used successfully over recent weeks and months to prevent other large scale clusters of the virus from developing.”

We appreciate this will create some anxiety, however, parents and carers should be assured that the safety of our pupils and staff remains our number one priority.”

Gordon Wardrope, Fife Council

Gordon Wardrope, Fife Council education manager, said: “As a result of positive cases of Covid-19 amongst school staff, all teaching staff at the school have been instructed to isolate pending further assessment by NHS Fife’s health protection team.

“The operational impact of this means we are unable to reopen the school before Monday, September 28.

“We appreciate this will create some anxiety, however, parents and carers should be assured that the safety of our pupils and staff remains our number one priority and we are continuing to follow public health advice around any actions required.”

Parents were contacted by text message on Wednesday morning and told to keep their children at home for the day as a precaution while a risk assessment was conducted and contact tracers from the Test and Protect team identified any other close contacts.

Mum Tracy Kane learned of the closure around an hour before her two children were due to attend the school.

She said: “I hope we don’t have to isolate again due to the detrimental effect it has not only mentally on the kids, but also for everyone in the families involved.

“It’s a worry for the childcare and work aspect.”

The school is one of 10 in Fife where pupils have been sent home due to Covid-19 cases since the start of term.

Parents were directed for more information to questions and answers on the council’s website and local online support hub created to provide information on testing and updates on the pandemic.

A reminder was issued that anyone with symptoms of the virus – a fever, new and continuous cough, or a loss or change in the sense of taste or smell – should arrange testing using the UK Government Citizens’ Portal or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Coronavirus in schools: Track the spread in staff and pupils in Tayside and Fife

Kirkcaldy – The Courier