In preparation for the reopening of schools after their closure for over 12 weeks Falkirk Council has carried out a number of safety checks prior to the return of children and staff in August. These tests included assessments of water quality. Results for some schools have tested positive for elevated levels of a number of bacteria which can build up in water supplies during periods of low usage, including legionella and pseudomonas.
NHS Forth Valley’s Public Health team have reviewed the sampling results and advised that the risk of anyone becoming unwell is very low. However, as a precaution, the Council has temporarily closed all early learning and childcare centres and primary schools, other than for essential access including testing and distribution of food. Childcare hubs have been relocated to secondary schools while appropriate treatment and repeat sampling is carried out. This will give us an opportunity to treat the local water supply and take advice from public health colleagues on the remedial actions that may be required. Secondary schools have been checked and are clear.
Since the advent of COVID-19, Children’s Services has only been operating critical childcare hubs within 15 early years and primary school establishments and the Council has identified that approximately 500 children have used this provision within the last 14 days. NHS Forth Valley has issued advice and guidance to all parents whose children have attended the hubs and to the relevant staff. The schools currently confirmed as affected are Bantaskin Primary School, Bonnypark ELCC, Camelon Nursery, Carrongrange High School, Deanburn Primary School, Glenburn ELCC, Kinnaird ELCC, Kinnaird PS, Larbert ELCC, Maddiston Primary School, Rannoch Nursery, St Margaret's ELCC, St Patrick’s Primary School and Victoria Primary School with results awaited for Bowhouse Primary School. Further information will be made available to parents as necessary.