17 schools record covid cases…but six won’t be named

A total of 17 schools in Renfrewshire have been linked to a positive Covid-19 case, as the local authority refuses to name six at the centre of the crisis.

The figure, which accounts for almost one third of the entire school estate, was revealed in Renfrewshire Council papers yesterday.

The papers – which said there had been 28 confirmed covid cases across the 17 venues – also stated 352 pupils have been in self-isolation at some point since the schools reopened.

Renfrewshire Council has so far named 11 schools affected by Covid-19.

But, when asked to identify the other six, education bosses told the Paisley Daily Express those schools would not be named because the risk to the wider school community was minimal.

The local authority also refused to state how many teachers were self-isolating as a result of Covid-19, despite the fact some will have been exposed to the virus at work.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “We want to reassure parents that we have planned extensively for this situation and all our schools continue to provide teaching to pupils and supporting those who are required to self-isolate.

“The number of people required to self-isolate is a result of the additional local restrictions in place across parts of the west of Scotland as a result of increasing community cases.

“Where test and protect is underway in a school, we have communicated with parents directly.

“Our schools have robust safety and hygiene measures in place and continue to be vigilant to help suppress the virus.”

The news comes as a second case of Covid-19 has been identified at Paisley’s Castlehead High School.

Public health officials were contacted on Thursday to trace all those who had been in contact with the infected person. The first case was on August 21.

All those deemed a close contact have been asked to self isolate, along with all those in their household.

Castlehead is one of five high schools that have publicly confirmed a Covid-19 case.

The others include Paisley Grammar and Glennifer High, in Paisley, Johnstone High School, and Gryffe High, in

A further six primaries in Renfrewshire have identified staff or students with the virus, including Rashielea Primary, in Erskine, Mossvale Primary and Todholm Primary, both in Paisley, Wallace Primary, in Elderslie, St James’ Primary, in Renfrew, and St Anthony’s Primary, in Johnstone.

Most of the confirmed cases in schools have been linked to a source of transmission in the community.

Of the 352 children who have been asked to self-isolate since August 15, 72 of those have returned to school.

In her report to councillors at Renfrewshire Council’s Emergencies Board yesterday, chief executive Sandra Black said: “While a significant local outbreak has not yet been experienced, an increasing number of positive cases have been identified locally in recent weeks and these have impacted on schools and council services.

“Officials from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde test and protect team have been satisfied with the arrangements in place to prevent transmission of the virus within schools and other council premises.”

A person at St James’ Primary in Paisley tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday as the Express went to press. It is not yet known if the school is one of the six that the council refused to name, or if the school is in fact the 18th campus to be impacted by the virus. 

Daily Record – Paisley