Almost 50 cases of coronavirus have been linked to a school in Moray.

Moray Council has confirmed 48 cases had been associated with Elgin Academy since 14 April.

In addition, more than a quarter of the school’s population of around 1,000 pupils have been required by public health to self-isolate, accessing remote learning during this period.

The building is now under an enhanced cleaning schedule, with daytime cleaners who continually clean touchpoints like door handles, toilets and communal areas.

The school is cleaned every night and sanitised ready for the next day, and staff continue to reinforce the importance of mitigations like face coverings and hand hygiene.

Elgin Academy Head Teacher, Kyle Scott, has written to all families with children at the school to update them on the impact of coronavirus cases.

He said: “I want to thank so many of our amazing pupils for following the rules both in and out of school. I also thank parents/carers for their support throughout; it has been so encouraging to read and receive words of support and I personally thank all those members of our school community for taking the time to do this. 

“It’s by following the rules that we will suppress the virus, and as a school community it is so important that we continue to work together in following the guidance and adhering to these rules.

“If we continue to do these things and remain proactive in our response, I firmly believe that we will beat this virus where we are here for you as your school and we want to help in any way that we can.

“We will continue to work hard, liaise with Public Health as necessary and will do all we can to maintain the safety of our school and prevent any pupils from having to isolate and therefore miss time in school.”

Moray Council’s Head of Education, Vivienne Cross, said: “These have been some of the toughest weeks of the pandemic for our school staff and families.

“We’re reassured by public health that our strong Covid protection measures mean that transmission is not happening within our schools, and ask our residents to make the most of the expansion of testing for ‘mild or extended’ symptoms, and community testing for those without symptoms, to help stop the spread and further disruption to our children and young people’s learning.”

It comes after residents in Moray were warned not to let the region “get left behind” as the country unlocks, amid surging Covid-19 cases in the region.

Since April 10 the area has seen more than 100 new cases, with around half of those in the last seven days as the infection rate increases locally.

Moray currently has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 in the country and is well ahead of the rest of the NHS Grampian region.

In the last week Moray accounted for close to 50% of Grampian’s cases – but is home to less than 17% of the population. The rate per 100,000 people in the area currently sits at 50.1. In Aberdeen City the rate is 15.7 while Aberdeenshire is at 8.4.

READ MORE: No Covid deaths recorded in two-thirds of local authorities last week

Although cases are scattered across the region, Elgin has seen the majority. As a result, NHS Grampian is expanding testing and urging those with symptoms including sore throats, headaches and diarrhoea to book tests immediately, as well as encouraging people to take up asymptomatic testing.

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian said: “We are aware of 46 cases associated with Elgin Academy since April 10.

“Public Health is working closely with Moray Council and the school’s management.”