Plea to West Lothian parents and pupils ahead of school return

Prior to all West Lothian schools re-opening on Monday, April 19, a number of coronavirus messages are being reinforced for parents, carers and pupils.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 10:34 am
John Devlin stock photo.

All schools have safety measures in place, such as hand hygiene stations, limiting mixing of pupils and regular cleaning regimes that reduce risks. Specific guidance for both secondary and primary schools has been issued to parents highlighting the important measures that West Lothian’s schools will implement and follow.

Executive councillor for Education, David Dodds said: “We are pleased that young people are set to return to the classroom and it marks an important milestone, but it’s vitally important that these measures are followed to allow our schools to remain open and keep the virus under control.

“There is signage outside and inside schools to remind parents and pupils of the measures to take but it really does rely on everyone adhering to guidance in good faith, and complying with the spirit of the measures being promoted by public health professionals.

“More testing is being carried out within and out with schools and that is a deliberate and targeted process to help reduce transmission of the virus within communities. By identifying confirmed cases, testing allows the individual to self-isolate and help stop the spread of the virus.

“Everything you do to follow these measures, can keep the spread of coronavirus down and help to ensure the smooth and full re-opening of schools.”

Dr Elaine Cook, depute chief executive of West Lothian Council added: “As we work to control the outbreak, more people are being asked to take tests and they are finding more positive cases, some of whom have no symptoms and would ordinarily have never been picked up.

“NHS Lothian also confirmed that most of the new cases are people who have the infection but show no symptoms. In the past many of these people would not have been tested and the virus would have continued to spread, unknowingly, to others.

“What is key at this stage is to self-isolate if you or your child has tested positive, even if you have no symptoms, or if anyone is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.”

Parents and cares should always adhere to the 2m rule at the school gates and avoid car sharing on the school run.

Dr Cook added: “Please remember if your child or anyone in your household has one or more symptoms of Covid-19 (a new, continuous cough, a high temperature/fever, or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste) you should all stay at home, arrange to be tested and don’t enter the school.

“All schools have robust online learning arrangements in place and no child will miss out on education should they have to isolate at home for a short period of time.

"What is most important is that we protect one another, reduce the spread of the virus and allow our young people to learn and develop going forward.”