Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Aberdeen teachers told to turn off coronavirus track and trace apps at school

A member of the public views the new Covid-19 track and trace app on a phone at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
A member of the public views the new Covid-19 track and trace app on a phone at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Teachers in Aberdeen have been told to turn their track and trace apps off when working – despite the First Minister giving opposite advice.

A letter was circulated to teaching staff across the city, with a message from chief education officer Eleanor Sheppard on behalf of Caroline Johnstone, QIM.

It asks staff to turn off their Track and Trace apps, as it “is not able to identify when robust mitigations have been in place”.

The letter states: “As you know the high level of Covid controls and safety measures wihin our school buildings have been working extremely well.

“We continue to have positive cases reported, but increasingly, following Public Health investigation, no close contacts are being identified in either staff or pupils because of the mitigations in place in schools.

“Consistent wearing of fluid-resistant masks and strict adherence to 2m distancing have played a significant part in this.

“A recent case has highlighted an issue with the Track and Trace app, which many school staff will have downloaded.

The letter has been circulated to teachers across Aberdeen.

“Unfortunately, when the app is on, staff working in schools may be notified of having been a close contact of a positive case even when a Public Health investigation of the full circumstances may have identified no close contacts.

“The system does not enable people to identify exactly where and when the contact took place and as a result some staff have received a text message instructing them to self-isolate when Public Health colleagues, with all the information about the mitigations in place, have identified there is no need to do so.

“Public Health colleagues have suggested that school staff should disable to remove the app while working in school buildings as the app is not able to identify when robust mitigations have been in place.

“Please ask staff in your schools to disable to Test and Trace app while working in school. The issue has been raised nationally and we hope to be able to share a more practical solution in the coming weeks.”

Despite the advice, the Scottish Government has advised teachers not to switch off the app – as it would “defeat the purpose” of it.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I understand there may have been an incident in a school in Aberdeen, where a number of phones perhaps were together but the owners were not, therefore they all got pinged.

“That is not a flaw – that is about if you are not with your phone, switching off the app is not something that is causing a problem.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“We shouldn’t be asking people to switch off the app when they have their phone with them that is defeating the purpose of Protect Scotland.

“We should be encouraging people to keep their phones on them with the app switched on to that Protect Scotland is working the way it should.

Professor Jason Leitch added: “Yes carry your phone with you – don’t switch the app off unless you are wearing PPE and in contact with patients and families that would protect you from.”

Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: This is on the back of advice we have been given by public health.

“When there have been positive cases in schools public health have made an assessment that because teachers are wearing PPE, they aren’t deemed a close contact and therefore are not at risk.

Coronavirus in Scotland – track the spread in these charts and maps

“Based on the advice from public health, that is why that email was put out.

“We have passed the issue to the Scottish Government to investigate.

“There should be national guidance given to local authorities so we can then give that to members of staff.

“Health and social care workers have also been told to turn the app off.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]