Parent campaigners have slammed covid isolation measures on children as “categorically wrong” after it was revealed that only 5% of children who come into contact with the virus actually end up testing positive.
UsForThemScotland say the new data proves the Scottish Government’s blanket isolation rules for children was unfair.
Previously anyone who was identified as a ‘close contact’ of someone who tested positive with covid had to isolate at home even if their own covid test was negative.
This resulted in full classrooms full of children being sent home for 10 days, even if only one pupil in the class tested positive.
Figures also show self-isolation forced more than 43,000 children and young people out of school for at least two weeks over the 2020-21 academic year.
But Public Health Scotland found just one in 20 school kids who have come into contact with someone who had the virus went on to test positive themselves.
The stats show 25,507 school pupils tested positive between August 2020 and June 2021, and of those just 1,503 had been in contact with at least 10 of their fellow pupils.
PHS also said it could not be determined that those children who tested positive contracted the virus while at school because they could have been in contact in some other setting.
UFTScotland say the new PHS research proves that children had their education “disrupted” and their “social development ruined” for no reason.
Jo Bisset, organiser for UFTScotland, said: “This proves it was categorically wrong to send home thousands of healthy kids in the last academic year.
“This disrupted their education and ruined their social development.
“For their parents, it also caused significant stress and anxiety when it came to balancing work and childcare.
“It’s time the Scottish Government stood up to those determined for schools to close and children to fester at home for another year.
“If they’d taken this stance at this point last year, a whole generation of Scottish children would be in a much better place.”
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville told the BBC: “While it’s encouraging that the vast majority of contacts of a positive case amongst a fellow pupil do not go on to test positive for Covid-19 (via PCR) within 14 days of exposure, we must remain vigilant.
“We will consider this evidence as we keep the approach to contact tracing and isolation policy amongst school pupils under ongoing review as this term progresses to ensure it is proportionate.”
Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.
Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.