Coronavirus guidance issued to Scottish schools

No cases yet in Scotland, but education secretary highlights tailored advice for schools and nurseries

Tes Reporter

Coronavirus guidance issued to Scottish schools

Schools have been issued with advice on the coronavirus by Health Protection Scotland (HPS).

The guidance was sent out on Thursday. Although no cases have been confirmed in Scotland, the past few days have seen the first cases in Wales and Northern Ireland, while more have been confirmed in England, bringing the UK total to 19.

The outbreak of this strain of coronavirus, known as Covid-19, started in the Chinese city of Wuhan earlier this month. As of yesterday, it had killed 2,747 people in the country since then, according to the World Health Organisation.

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The Scottish guidance was sent to directors of education in local authorities to advise staff on preventing the spread of infections, courses of action if staff or pupils become unwell, and to highlight resources on hygiene techniques.

Schools will also be advised on how to deal with people returning from affected areas, similar to what has already been released to the public.

Colleges and universities also received the guidance, along with independent schools.

Education secretary John Swinney said: "This guidance has been circulated to schools, colleges, universities and early learning and childcare providers in Scotland following general guidance on basic preventative measures against coronavirus issued earlier in the month.

"Advice to people returning from affected countries will depend on which regions they have visited and will be updated as the situation changes, so we're asking members of the public to stay up to date with the latest health and travel advice.

"We are well prepared for an outbreak in Scotland but the public also has a vital role to play in helping us contain any positive cases by keeping themselves informed and following basic hygiene precautions, such as hand-washing and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing."

There have still not been any confirmed cases in Scotland of the virus, although the Scottish government and NHS Scotland expect diagnoses to come, with preparation work already being carried out.

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