Parents, pupils and teachers have been warned over the threat of Covid-19 after an entire class at an Aberdeen primary were told to isolate at home.
The school is the second in the city to face cases of coronavirus, along with Oldmachar Academy.
In Aberdeenshire, public health chiefs are dealing with a positive test at Fraserburgh Academy, while there have also been cases linked to Peterhead Central, Meethill and Anna Ritchie schools.
Everything they could possibly do has been done.”
Education bosses and school staff have been praised for their response – swiftly putting measures in place to ensure isolating pupils could continue learning from home.
Ron Constable, secretary of the Aberdeen City branch of the teaching union EIS, said the incident should serve as a reminder of the threat posed by the virus.
He said: “The authority has acted very quickly and have enacted all the protocol, and the school have handled it very well too.
“Everything they could possibly do has been done.
“We hope those concerned only have mild symptoms and are able to return after the 14 days. There is a human factor involved here and you sometimes don’t see that.
“What this shows is the virus is out there. It hasn’t gone away and it’s just as virulent as ever.
“Schools are just as much at risk as other places and it shows how quickly the virus can spread within that environment.
“The more mitigations that are put in place to protect our pupils and teachers and keep schools open, the better.”
Schools in the north-east have been less affected by cases of coronavirus than other local authorities in Scotland – with just two affected in the city along with four in Aberdeenshire.
In Glasgow more than a dozen schools have been linked to cases of Covid-19, while in Edinburgh the number of schools affected is thought to be around 11.
Dundee City Council has seen cases at around four schools.
Scottish Conservative north-east MSP Tom Mason said: “To have a positive case at the school will be an alarming situation for everyone involved with Kittybrewster.
“But the school have acted quickly and appropriately to ensure the safety of all the pupils.
“It’s important they now self-isolate while the council continues to work with the school to determine the best approach going forward.
“My thoughts go to the pupils, parents and staff who are all working together to ensure a safe environment for the children.”
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald added: “Any case of Covid-19 will cause concern, but all connected with Kittybrewster School will be relieved that this case is being managed in a way that keeps the disruption of children’s education to a minimum.”
Despite one class isolating, Kittybrewster School will remain open for the rest of the pupils after a deep clean was carried out.
For those who do have to stay home for two weeks, online learning has been put in place.
In a letter to parents, headteacher Ross Watson said: “I want to reassure parents and carers that Public Health is extremely satisfied with the control measures in place at the school and that there is no evidence of transmission.
“The classroom will be deep cleaned and will not be in use whilst the children are self-isolating.
“I realise that this news will be unsettling. Please be assured that the decision to open the school for all other children has been taken following a detailed assessment of the effectiveness of the control measures in place.”
Mr Watson also urged parents to keep their children at home if they display symptoms of Covid-19, such as a temperature, a cough or a loss or change in their sense of taste or smell.
An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “We are contacting the families today to put arrangements in place for online home learning – through a mix of live and supported activities – for the period when the children cannot attend school.
“All the children will have access to a digital classroom space where the teacher will support the pupils to access the curriculum. The pupils will also be supported to ensure they have sufficient hardware to access their digital classroom.”
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman added: “We are investigating a detected case of Covid-19 associated with Kittybrewster Primary School. A small number of pupils have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution.
“We are working closely with school management and Aberdeen City Council. We are content that the school is able to operate as normal, excepting those pupils who have been advised to isolate.
“We know this is a worrying time for the whole school community. We would stress that they should only arrange a test if they develop the recognised symptoms of Covid-19 (a new, continuous cough, a fever, or a loss of their sense of taste or smell) or if they are expressly advised to by the Health Protection team.”