More than 1,000 pupils and 100 members of teaching staff were self-isolating from Dundee schools on Friday, as Covid cases in the city continue to rise.
Dundee now has the highest rate of the virus of any local authority in Scotland, with council leader John Alexander warning that the rise of cases across the city was further disrupting children’s schooling.
In total, 1,082 students and 116 teaching staff were forced to self-isolate on Friday.
Mr Alexander said the situation was further affecting students who have had “a year of disrupted education” – and previously warned the city could end up back in Level 3 restrictions.
He said: “We of course remain in Level 2 restrictions while much of the country is in Level 1, with all that means for businesses and our own personal freedoms.
“This week there are around 1,000 pupils missing school in Dundee because they are having to self-isolate, further affecting a year of disrupted education.”
Rise in cases ‘alarming’
The number of cases in Dundee doubled from May 31 to June 7, when the city had an infection rate of 247.1 per 100,000 – more than double the Scotland average of 105.9 in the week leading up to June 7.
Mr Alexander added: “The rise in cases in Dundee is alarming – it has doubled in the space of seven days – and shows no sign of letting up.
“We now sit at a rate of cases per 100,000 people which is about twice the Scottish national average. So we need to act – the situation is very fragile and complacency is not an option.
Hospital admissions and deaths
“While it’s encouraging that we are not seeing the same numbers of hospital admissions and deaths that sadly occurred over the past year, let’s not forget there are still people in Ninewells Hospital today because of coronavirus.”
Elsewhere in Tayside, Perth and Kinross had more than 300 pupils and 30 staff members were self-isolating on Thursday June 10.
The worst-affected school was Tulloch Primary in Perth, where 75 students and fewer than three staff are absent due to the outbreaks of coronavirus.
The most recent figures available showed that Angus schools had the highest percentage of pupils isolating for all Covid-related reasons in Tayside and Fife, at 4.9% on Tuesday June 8.
This was compared to 4.6 for Dundee, 2.1 in Perth and Kinross and 0.8 in Fife – although these figures are likely to have changed, particularly with the rise of cases in the City of Discovery.
A large spike in the community was reported in Kirriemuir earlier this week, with the Angus town named the “Covid capital” of Scotland.
NHS Tayside bosses also announced on Friday hospitals would follow Scottish Government Level 2 hospital visiting guidance from Saturday, due to the increase across the region.
Inpatients in Tayside will be able to receive just one visitor, who must contact the ward to arrange an appointment time and discuss the process.