NHS Grampian issues guidance before holidays

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The public health chief steering the north-east through the pandemic has issued summer holidays Covid advice in a letter to parents.

In it, NHS Grampian urged parents to continue testing their children for Covid-19 during the school holidays.

The letter, issued to parents in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray, arrives in time for the end of term.

Susan Webb, NHS Grampian’s director of public health, has said that with the Delta variant now the “dominant strain” in the region people need to act “carefully and cautiously” in the weeks ahead.

She also praised the response of children to the coronavirus crisis and said they have “shown strength and maturity well beyond their years.”

NHS Grampian director of public health Susan Webb wrote to parents ahead of the summer holidays.

Ms Webb also said that it was important to continue to follow the way schools have been working in recent months and test older children for Covid-19. 

She said: “If you are getting together with family and friends, please observe the limits on the size of gatherings and remember that outside is generally safer than inside.

“Regular testing using lateral flow devices is encouraged for adults and any older children in your household.”

Health boss praises children’s response to pandemic

Ms Webb said the last few months had been “unlike any other” time for parents and youngsters.

She said that the main concern for them is to make sure children can return to school safely when the new term starts in August.

Ms Webb said: “It’s safe to say, it has been a year unlike any other for you and your children.

“It has not been easy and your children have shown strength and maturity well beyond their years.”

Susan Webb

“From the return to school last August to the sudden lockdown again in January, I am sure you are all ready for a break.

“It has not been easy and your children have shown strength and maturity well beyond their years.

“I know you will be proud of them, as we are, and they should be proud of themselves.

“I know that, right now, you won’t want to think about the return of school in August.

“However, please be assured that our team in NHS Grampian, along with all the council officials will be keeping a close eye on the situation.

“Our priority is ensuring your child will be able to return to school safely.”

Councils support NHS Grampian holiday advice

North-east councils have welcomed the advice from NHS Grampian ahead of the summer holidays.

A spokeswoman for Moray Council said: “As agreed by education colleagues across Grampian, families are receiving a letter from NHS Grampian’s Director of Public Health, Susan Webb, via their child’s school.

“We support NHS Grampian’s ask that families follow the restrictions in their area while socialising with friends and family over the summer break, undertake regular testing and attend appointments for both doses of the vaccine.”

Schools will return in August following the summer break.

Councillor M. Tauqeer Malik, Aberdeen City Council’s education convener, also backed the Covid summer advice.

He said “ I fully support NHS Grampian letter to parents reminding families to be careful over the summer months as we are seeing a small but significant spike in Covid19 cases.

“The importance of reminding families to be careful over the summer when children are no longer at school cannot be underestimated as evidence has proved that this virus is transmitted by humans in close contact with each other.

“The best way to protect our beloved NHS is to work with NHS Grampian and follow their advice.”

Aberdeenshire Council have been contacted for comment.

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