Mum hits out at school’s han­dling of staff COVID case

East Kilbride News - - NEWS -

An East Kil­bride mum has slammed St An­drew’s and St Bride’s High School for ‘fail­ing ’to ad­dress coro­n­avirus con­cerns cor­rectly.

The mum, who wishes to re­main anony­mous, has a daugh­ter who at­tends the town’s sec­ondary and fears that the school is putting pupils and their fam­i­lies at risk of catch­ing coro­n­avirus.

Last week the school con­firmed that a staff mem­ber had tested pos­i­tive for Covid-19.

Par­ents were in­formed by let­ter by NHS La­nark­shire who say the staff mem­ber af­fected is “cur­rently self-iso­lat­ing at home ”with close con­tacts asked to self-iso­late also.

The con­cerned mum told the

News: “Last week, par­ents re­ceived an email re­gard­ing a staff mem­ber that tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19 and the email stated that ‘iden­ti­fied ar­eas of the school have been elec­tro­stat­i­cally cleaned’.

“I am very in­ter­ested to un­der­stand how they iden­tify these ar­eas.

“To my knowl­edge the virus is trans­mit­ted through close con­tact and in­fected sur­faces, these sur­faces can re­main in­fected for up to two week pos­si­bly longer.

“In my mind – happy to be cor­rected how­ever – all it would take is for the in­fected staff mem­ber or some­one work­ing along­side said mem­ber of staff to touch sur­faces al­ready con­tam­i­nated by the in­fected mem­ber of staff and they can carry it around the school.”

The par­ent be­lieves that the

school has gone back on the state­ment they made when schools re­turned – that if a pos­i­tive coro­n­avirus case was con­firmed, then the full school would be fogged.

She said:“The ini­tial risk as­sess­ment looked re­ally good by the school, stat­ing that the school would be fogged if there was a pos­i­tive case. But it hasn’t. And that’s a fail­ure on their part to their pupils and their pupil’s fam­i­lies.

“I would have been far hap­pier if the whole school had been fogged be­cause un­less they ran­domly sam­ple each area to be cer­tain, I don’t un­der­stand how they can make the de­ci­sion that only cer­tain ar­eas of the school are im­pacted.

“Also, now that there is a pupil in­fected and know­ing they could have been in­fected for a few days prior to show­ing symp­toms, again I would hope that a full clean is tak­ing place. But it has not been con­firmed.

“Sim­ply put, the school needs to have ad­di­tional clean­ing pro­ce­dures in place to en­sure ev­ery­one’s safety.”

The con­cerned mum added: “This is a very wor­ry­ing time for pupils and par­ents – wor­ry­ing if chil­dren are bring­ing this home with them.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate that these pos­i­tive cases may well not have been picked up from school, but un­less the school mon­i­tor this closely they will be the cause of a mass break­out.”

The coun­cil’s head of ed­u­ca­tion said it was“wor­ry­ing times for all”ac­knowl­edg­ing par­ents’par­tic­u­lar con­cerns for their chil­dren.

How­ever, Lynn Sherry moved to re­as­sure par­ents that schools had a strict clean­ing pro­to­col in place that“ex­ceeded gov­ern­ment rec­om­men­da­tions”.

She said:“Like all our schools,

St An­drew’s and St Bride’s is elec­tro­stat­i­cally sprayed at least once a week, a process which not only kills viruses and bac­te­ria but also pro­vides a bar­rier against them.

“In ad­di­tion there is ad­di­tional daily clean­ing of sur­faces, and fre­quent touch spots are sani­tised three times a day.

“Pupils and staff are also asked to wipe down their own work sta­tions through­out the day.

“To date, there has not been any ev­i­dence of spread­ing of the virus within any South La­nark­shire school.”

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