Primary school forced to shut after Omicron variant outbreak

6 December 2021, 21:30

A primary school in Scotland has closed for a week because of an outbreak of the Omicron variant (stock photo)
A primary school in Scotland has closed for a week because of an outbreak of the Omicron variant (stock photo). Picture: Alamy
Gina Davidson

By Gina Davidson

A Scottish primary school has been forced to close for a week after a suspected outbreak of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

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Children at Todholm Primary in Lochfield Road, Paisley, were told by email about the closure on Sunday.

It is the first school closure since the new variant was found in Scotland.

There are currently thought to be 71 cases of Omicron in Scotland with 23 more revealed today.

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Pupils at the school will now learn remotely until Friday.

Renfrewshire Council said the decision was taken as they were unable to maintain necessary staffing levels.

Two class groups in P1 and another in P2 are self-isolating, as well as multiple staff members. The council said they were required to isolate following NHS Test and Protect contact tracing.

A spokeswoman added: "This is due to Covid-19 cases linked to the school confirmed as being, or with the potential to be, the new Omicron variant.

"Following identification of cases, a further risk assessment was carried out by public health and environmental health teams and all appropriate health and safety measures were found to be robust.

"We have apologised to parents for any disruption and will keep them updated."

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In an email parents were asked to be "vigilant" for symptoms of Covid-19 and to isolate and book a PCR test if they develop.

Scientists believe Omicron will spread more quickly than the Delta variant and become the dominant strain in a matter of weeks.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had warned she expects to see "perhaps significantly more" Omicron cases.

On Friday it was revealed a concert by the pop band Steps at Glasgow's Hydro venue on 22 November was liked to six Omicron cases.