COVID-19 News Updates

Published: Wed 4 May 2022

The updated Risk Assessment for Covid In School, for implementation on 2 May 2022, is now available. 

Published: Fri 29 Apr 2022

Jason Leitch (National Clinical Director) has written to all parents/carers:

 

"To Parents, Carers and Young People,  As I’ve tried to do throughout the pandemic, I wanted to share the latest advice about the way we are managing Covid-19. From Sunday 1 May, public health advice will change to a ‘stay at home’ message and replace self-isolation for people who have symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, people who have symptoms of Covid-19 and who have a fever or are too unwell to carry out normal activities will be asked to stay at home while they are unwell or have a fever. They will no longer be advised to take a PCR test. These changes will also see testing for the general population and most contact tracing end on 30 April."

 

Continue to read the full letter from Jason Leitch

Published: Mon 25 Apr 2022

An updated Risk Assessment, to take into account updates during the holidays, has now been published.  This is effective from 25 April 2022. 

Published: Mon 25 Apr 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

I last wrote to you on 8 April regarding COVID-19 measures in schools after the Easter break. On 13 April the Scottish Government subsequently issued an update to its guidance.

I am therefore writing to advise you of the key changes which will now apply when our schools return on 25 April. These changes primarily relate to the use of face coverings.

Full details are available in the letter issued on Monday 25 April 2022 from Nicola McDowell, Head of Education Service.

Published: Mon 25 Apr 2022

SQA EXAMS 2022

Dear Parent/Carer

Good morning,
I hope you all had a lovely Easter break. The guidance has just arrived from SQA & Scottish Government and I wanted to share this with you in regard to your young person having Covid or Covid symptoms during this time. Please see SQA Exams Exceptional Arrangements letter for further details and a statement that SQA wish us to publish. 

Kind regards

Sue Cook 
 

Published: Fri 8 Apr 2022

Dear Parents and Carers, I am writing to update you on the changes to COVID-19 mitigation measures in schools from 18 April 2022. This follows new guidance from the Scottish Government published on 25 March 2022. These changes will bring schools into line with the position in wider society. They follow the changes to Test and Protect asymptomatic testing programme which we wrote to you about recently.   Full details are available in the letter issued on Friday 8 April 2022 from Nicola McDowell, Head of Education Service.

Published: Fri 8 Apr 2022

The updated Risk Assessment for Covid In School, for implementation on 25 April 2022, is now available. 

Published: Mon 28 Feb 2022

Dear Parent/Carer I am writing to you following the most recent update to guidance on reducing the risks from COVID-19 in schools which was published by the Scottish Government on 17 February and applies from Monday 28 February 2022. You can read the guidance online from the Scottish Government website.  Full details are available in the letter issued on Friday 25 February 2022 from Nicola McDowell, Head of Education Service.

Published: Wed 19 Jan 2022

Make sure you book your COVID-19 booster to maximise protection

People aged 18 and over can book boosters online.

All adults aged 18 and over can book their appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine booster through the online portal on NHS inform. If you are unable to access the online portal you can book an appointment through the National Helpline on 0800 030 8013.

Even if you’ve been double-vaccinated, your immunity against COVID-19 wanes over time. That’s why boosters are necessary. The booster vaccine gives you the protection you need against serious COVID-19 illness. Local Health Boards are offering additional drop-in facilities - you can find information on local health board websites and social media.

Appointments must be booked at least 12 weeks after a second dose however adults with a confirmed case of the virus since receiving a vaccine should wait four weeks from testing positive to receive their booster. Even if you have had COVID-19 it is still important you come forward and complete your vaccination course to maximise your protection.

You can view a short video on how to use the booking portal.

Anyone in earlier groups who missed their vaccination can book an appointment by calling the National Helpline on 0800 030 8013 which is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. For more information about the COVID-19 booster vaccine visit NHS Inform.

Published: Fri 7 Jan 2022

The Knox Academy Covid Risk Assessment and LFD Testing Risk Assessment documents have been reviewed and updated for the return to school January 2022. 

Published: Fri 7 Jan 2022

Nicola McDowell, Head of Education Services has written to all parents/carers to provide an update on the mitigations that remain in place in our schools to keep our staff, children and young people safe from COVID-19.

This letter supersedes the letter published earlier today. 

Published: Thu 6 Jan 2022

There are a number of changes that have been made to testing and self-isolation procedures from 6 January 2022.

Further updates have been made, and details can be found in this Self-Isolation Frequently Asked Questions Document.

Published: Mon 13 Dec 2021

The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland have provided further information about asymptomatic testing, and what to expect.  Please see the issued poster for more details.  

Published: Thu 16 Sep 2021

Jason Leitch (National Clinical Director) has written to all parents/carers:

"We are now well into the new academic year, and I have been delighted to see reports of children and pupils returning filled with enthusiasm and optimism for the year ahead. I hope that is reflective of the experience in your own household.

At this stage, I wanted to write to you so that I can help explain how cases of Covid-19 in childcare settings and schools are being managed, and how information that has been gathered since the start of term is helping to inform what arrangements need to be in place going forward."

Continue to read the full letter from Jason Leitch

Published: Mon 13 Sep 2021

Dear Parents/Carers, We appreciate there have been a number of changes in how cases of COVID-19 in schools are being managed since the start of term and that this has caused some confusion and anxiety. We hope this letter helps explain these changes. Full details are available in the letter issued from NHS Lothian on 13 September 2021.

Published: Fri 3 Sep 2021

We were delighted to welcome children and young people back to school at the start of the new term in August.

We are extremely grateful to you as parents and carers for your understanding and ongoing support through what has been a very difficult 18 months for everyone as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for education and learning have been significant and far-reaching. Full details are available in the letter from Nicola McDowell, Head of Education on Friday 3 September 2021.

Published: Fri 20 Aug 2021

Do you still need to get your 1st or 2nd Covid jab?

Pop in to a drop-in at #EastLothianCommunityHospital or elsewhere in Lothian this weekend.

Please leave 8 weeks between your 1st and 2nd jab. Detailed information on Drop-in Clinics.

Published: Wed 18 Aug 2021

COVID-19 asymptomatic testing programme for school/ELC staff and pupils Dear Parent/Carer, I am writing to let you know about the Schools/ELC Asymptomatic Testing Programme, which is in place as part of the package of COVID-19 risk reduction mitigations in schools across Scotland, and to give you more information about how the programme operates in our school. Full details are available in the letter issued on 18 August 2021 from our Head Teacher.

Published: Mon 16 Aug 2021

Dear Parent/Carer I hope that you have enjoyed the summer holiday period and your child is looking forward to their return to school. Our staff in schools are very much looking forward to seeing them! As you may be aware, measures to reduce the likely transmission of Covid-19 will remain in place for the first six weeks of the new term. Many of these measures will be familiar to you and your learner from previous terms. Your school will provide you with specific details on the arrangements in their setting and we ask that you refer to this information. Full details are available in the letter issued on Monday 16 August 2021 from Nicola McDowell, Head of Education Service.

Published: Tue 4 May 2021

A new Covid-19 testing centre aimed at identifying positive cases among people showing no symptoms of the virus will open in Musselburgh on Friday, 30 April 2021.

Almost 1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 don’t have any of the usual symptoms but can still be infectious and pass on COVID-19 to loved ones, friends and others in the community. By getting tested – even if they feel fine – people from across East Lothian can help break chains of transmission in their local area.

The new community testing facility, funded by the Scottish Government, located at the former Stoneyhill Community Centre, opens from 12 pm - 6 pm on Friday, 30 April 2021. It will be open again from 11 am - 6 pm on Saturday. Thereafter the opening hours will be (Tuesday - Saturday) 11 am - 6 pm. No appointment is required.

The address is: 5 Stoneyhill Farm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 6RN

The facility, which is open to all East Lothian residents without symptoms, is expected to stay open for several months and is complemented by the deployment of mobile test units across several local communities. Getting tested is quick and easy and staff are on hand to help those attending.

People can also order free lateral flow home test kits test themselves twice-weekly. More information on the Scottish Government website.

Sharon Saunders, Head of Communities, East Lothian Council:

“The launch of this new facility for the people of East Lothian is another significant step in helping build on progress to suppress the spread of COVID-19 across our communities and move to an even less restrictive way of life.

“It’s great news that more and more people have been receiving vaccinations. But the reality is that the COVID-19 does still present a significant risk and, it’s possible to have and be spreading the virus without knowing it. Getting tested – even if you’ve received your vaccination – means you can find out if you are positive, and take immediate action to stop the spread of the virus to others, by self-isolating.

“Please do your bit to help to reduce transmission of the virus.

“We only want people to get tested at this facility if they have no Covid-19 symptoms. This is really important, so if you have any of the main Covid-19 symptoms – a fever (high temperature), a new, continuous cough or loss of taste and/or smell – please book a test immediately at a different location via NHS Inform: Test and Protect"

Q&A

What happens at the test?

  • The facility at Stoneyhill and the mobile units are safe and secure and follow the strictest hygiene and cleaning guidelines. Staff will support and guide you throughout your visit.
  • When you attend a site please ensure that you are wearing a face covering and continue to follow physical distancing guidance.
  • The test you are taking is called a lateral flow test. You will be asked to register using your mobile phone. If you don’t have a phone, you will be assisted to register.
  • You will be directed to a booth where you will get instructions on how to take the test.  Staff are on hand to help. A swab is put into a tube and taken away by a member of staff to be analysed.
  • After you have taken the test please return to your home or car and stay there until you receive your test results. Please do not go shopping to carry out any other activities until you receive your test results.
  • You will receive your results approximately 45 minutes after you take the test.
  • If you don’t have a mobile phone, a member of staff will ask you to wait in a designated area. Please wait here until a member of staff tells you your results.

What happens if the test results are negative?

  • This would mean that you are not carrying the virus at that time but please continue to follow the public FACTS public health guidance and any other relevant protection measures in place in the local area.

What happens if the test results are positive?

  • You need to take what is called a PCR test to confirm your positive test results. A PCR test is considered the most accurate test for detection infection. You can arrange this through the NHS Inform website or alternatively by telephoning 0300 303 2713. You will be advised to attend for a PCR test at the appropriate location for the local area (this will not be Stoneyhill, which is for asymptomatic testing only). In the meantime, you will need to self-isolate other than to attend for your PCR test.
  • If your PCR test is then positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date you receive the result of your PCR test. NHS Test and Protect will then contact you and ask you to identify any close contacts you may have been in touch with. Everyone in your household and any other close contacts will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of your PCR test.

What happens if the test results are void?

  • You will need to take what is called a PCR test. A PCR test is considered the most accurate test for detection infection. You can arrange this through the NHS Inform website or alternatively by telephoning 0300 303 2713.
  • You will be advised to attend for a PCR test at the appropriate location for the local area (this will not be Stoneyhill, which is for asymptomatic testing only). In the meantime, you will need to self-isolate other than to attend for your PCR test.

How can I get tested if I’m not able to visit the facility in Musselburgh?

  • Mobile test units are currently being deployed in local communities. You can take a rapid test at one of the mobile units. View the current schedule here.
  • Alternatively, you can also order free lateral flow home test kits test. More information on the Scottish Government website.

What should I do if I do have symptoms of COVID-19?

  • As the Stoneyhill facility is for asymptomatic testing only, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 make an appointment elsewhere through the NHS Inform website: Self-help guide: Access to testing for coronavirus or telephone 0300 303 2713.
  • The phone line is available between 7 am and 11 pm Monday - Sunday. If you have tested positive for COVID, you must self isolate.

If you need general advice (not Health advice), advice on self-isolation support grants, assistance with food or assistance with fuel poverty either:

Other helpful telephone numbers:

  • East Lothian Council - 01620 827827
  • 24 hour emergency line - 01875 612818
  • Emergency Social Work - 0800 731 6969

 

Published: Wed 31 Mar 2021

If your child / young person tests positive for Covid-19 during the holiday period please email the details to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk

Only if you have no access to email then call East Lothian Council on 01875 613921

 

Published: Mon 2 Nov 2020

I hope this letter is helpful in summarising some of the key points in relation to the updated guidance we have received. By following the guidance as well as national public health advice, we can all play our part in tackling COVID-19. This virus will continue to be present challenges for some time to come, but together we will get through this difficult period.

Read the full letter from Lesley Brown, Head of Education and Children's Services

Published: Mon 31 Aug 2020

These last few months have often been challenging, particularly for parents and carers. Now that schools and nurseries have returned the Scottish Government have written to provide some advice where a child or young person in your care presents with symptoms of the common cold or similar bugs during this pandemic.

Please read the full letter from Professor Jason Leitch (National Clinical Director)

Published: Thu 27 Aug 2020

As you’ll be aware, the Scottish Government has announced that, from 31 August 2020, face coverings should be worn by young people attending secondary schools when they are moving around the school in corridors and confined communal areas (such as toilets, social areas, PE changing rooms) where physical distancing is particularly difficult to maintain.

Full details are available in a letter from Lesley Brown (Head of Education and Children's Services)

      

Published: Mon 24 Aug 2020

With our buildings now reopen we need to work together to keep everybody safe, nurtured and learning. This letter contains information outlining the procedures that we will follow when responding to suspected cases of Covid-19 in our school. It also includes information on what you should do to help safeguard your family and the school community.

The guidance below is from the NHS Lothian website and outlines what precautions you should take if your child or young person feels unwell, with suspected Covid-19. Please keep this document somewhere safe so that it is easily accessible, should you need to refer to it.

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • A new, continuous cough
  • A fever/high temperature
  • A change or loss in taste and or/ smell.

Read the full procedures in the letter (PDF)

In addition the NHS Lothian have issued a Good Practice Document (PDF)