An investigation has been launched after four school pupils at two different schools in Lanarkshire tested positive for Covid-19.

Three pupils at St Ambrose High School in Coatbridge and one pupil at St Andrew's High School in the area tested positive for the virus.

One of the pupils at St Ambrose attended school for around 20 minutes on Thursday, and NHS bosses say they had limited contacts with other pupils while in school. 

They were immediately isolated and taken home to self-isolate for 14 days.

The St Andrew's pupil tested positive on Friday morning, and had attended school for a short period of time on Thursday.

A fifth case, who is linked to these but is not a school pupil, has also been identified.

None of the cases has a serious illness and health bosses have deemed risk to other pupils and staff as very low.

The other cases at St Ambrose have not attended school at all.

A major contact tracing operation is now underway.

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School pupils across the country headed back to the classroom for the first time in months.

In Lanarkshire, 12 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today.

NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine Dr Jennifer Darnborough said: “The team is investigating any potential links to the wider community which is impacting on schools.

“There is evidence that mixing socially in the community without maintaining physical distancing measures can transmit the virus. It should be noted that given the current picture, there is no evidence presently to suggest that there is transmission in schools but people are asked to remain vigilant and practise physical distancing guidance.

“We are aware that there will still be concern among both children and their parents at this time. I can reassure them that all settings which these individuals have attended during their infectious period are being identified and assessed.

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“We want to take this opportunity to remind people that good hand hygiene is essential to combat transmission of the virus and children and staff should wash their hands thoroughly and regularly using soap and water for 20 seconds.

“Individuals should stay off school or work and get tested if they experience any COVID symptoms, such a cough, fever or loss of taste or smell, even if they are mild. Information on how to access testing is available from NHS Inform.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are aware that a small number of pupils from two schools in Coatbridge tested positive for COVID-19.

"NHS Lanarkshire have made clear that there is no evidence currently to suggest that there is transmission in schools and NHS Lanarkshire is currently carrying out a community-wide investigation.

“NHS Lanarkshire is also taking appropriate steps by writing to the school’s parents to offer reassurance and detail measures it is taking to deal with these cases.”