Covid cases have been confirmed at the B&M Home Store discount chain in Elgin amid continuing concerns about the spread of the virus in Moray.
NHS Grampian has issued warnings about a “worrying trend” of Covid-19 in the region amid concerns a local lockdown may have to be imposed if it is not reversed.
Moray currently has the highest infection rate in Scotland with a seven-day rate of 61 cases per 100,000 people according to the latest Public Health Scotland statistics – nearly 10 times higher than neighbouring Aberdeenshire.
Covid cases linked to B&M and Elgin Academy
A total of 28 cases have been linked to Elgin Academy during the last three weeks.
However, it is understood the outbreak is not being treated as a single cluster with no evidence the virus is being spread within school grounds with council staff suspecting it could instead be linked to transport, workplaces or elsewhere in the community.
Health officials are becoming increasingly concerned about “community spread” within Elgin with the source of about a third of cases unable to be tracked.
Meanwhile, the Press and Journal has been told of at least three Covid cases among staff at the B&M Home Stores site on the Edgar Road retail park in the town.
Concerns have been raised by members of the public about the infection control measures being put in place at the shop.
NHS Grampian has said it is aware of a “small number” of Covid cases at B&M in Elgin.
A spokesman added: “Public Health is working with the store’s management.”
Source of Elgin Academy outbreak is unknown
Health officials are also continuing to work with Elgin Academy staff with 28 cases confirmed at the school since April 10.
However, it is understood the outbreak is believed to have come from multiple sources instead of originating within the school.
Families of Elgin Academy pupils have been written to remind them of the current guidelines.
A Moray Council spokeswoman said: “We are assured by public colleagues that the mitigations in place in our schools are robust and that transmission is community, transport or workplace related.
“There’s also increased and enhanced cleaning undertaken across all of our school buildings.
“All families have been written to, outlining expectations of pupils both in and out of school and we encourage parents and carers to reinforce this with their children, and ensure they’re aware of NHS Grampian’s expansion of testing for those with mild or extended symptoms of coronavirus.”
B&M Home Stores did not respond to requests for comment.