Secondary pupils told to stay home after rise in Midlothian Covid-19 cases

Pupils at a Midlothian secondary school have been told to stay at home amid rising Covid-19 rates in the area.

The school has told pupils and staff to get tested before returning on Monday

Beeslack High School in Penicuik has told all S1 and S2 pupils not to come to school on Monday.

Parents received a letter today (Saturday) from the council confirming that younger pupils will move to remote learning next week as a ‘precautionary measure’, following a spike in cases in the area.

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It comes as a Midlothian primary school that closed last week after a Covid outbreak announced it is to remain shut for another week as cases continue to increase.

Mauricewood Primary School in Penicuik closed its doors and moved all pupils to online learning following a number of confirmed cases.

Health chiefs have insisted that a spike in Pentlands, where most recent cases were recorded, is not down to any “particular setting or age group”.

A sudden rise in cases linked to the popular beauty spot and in neighbouring areas in a week pushed the number of cases up to substantially higher than the national average.

Public health scotland also reported six additional cases last week in neighbouring communities of Straiton and Roslin and Bilston, and four new cases in Penicuik North.

The latest Scottish Government figures show there are 54 new cases in NHS Lothian in the last 7 days.

Midlothian Council confirmed today that S1 and S2 pupils at Beeslack will move to online lessons while other year groups will continue to attend school.

All pupils and staff have been advised to take lateral flow tests before returning to school on Monday and anyone testing positive was reminded to stay at home to self-isolate.

Children who have been in direct contact with the individuals have been told to self-isolate for 10 days, the health board said.

One parent whose daughter attends Beeslack said: “Getting an email on a Saturday doesn’t fill me with confidence that they are on top of it. I know the school does take all the precautions but my daughter tells me the school’s narrow corridors are jam-packed.

"They all pile out of the classrooms at once. Nobody wears masks properly or washes their hands, they put masks on but don’t cover their mouths and noses. It’s a shambles. My daughter would rather stay home but she has to go in for exams.”

NHS Lothian has been contacted for comment.

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