A police warning has been issued in Moray for residents to abide by Covid restrictions as cases continue to surge.
The region has the highest infection rate in Scotland amid a spike in numbers in the Elgin area.
Schools issue Covid reminders for families
Elgin High School reminded parents and students on social media to follow national guidelines when they broke up for the long weekend.
Meanwhile, letters were written to Elgin Academy families to remind them of “expectations” of pupils both in and out of class.
Moray Council has confirmed the 28 cases at the school are being treated as separate clusters with transmission believed to be taking place outside the premises.
On Monday, police in Moray issued a warning to remind residents to abide by current Covid rules in order to suppress the numbers – but stressed they were not aware of any large groups of teenagers congregating that would breach current guidelines.
Inspector Andy Wilson said: “We are aware of the cases which have affected local schools and our advice is for people to follow the current Scottish Government guidelines.”
Warning comes amid Covid spike in Elgin
The latest figures published by Public Health Scotland revealed Moray currently has a seven-day infection rate of 78.2 cases per 100,000 people – considerably higher than the rate of 11 in the Highlands and 9.6 in Aberdeenshire.
The figures were not updated on Monday due to the bank holiday.
Meanwhile, the most recent neighbourhood statistics, which were last updated on Thursday show the outbreak is predominantly confined to Elgin with no cases reported in Forres, Buckie, Keith or Speyside during the preceding seven days.
Health officials have expanded the range of symptoms in the region where people should get tested for Covid-19 to include sore throats, headaches and diarrhoea due to concerns about patients not showing the more common cough, fever and loss of taste or smell symptoms.
NHS Grampian has stressed the need to get the virus under control due to the “worrying trend”.
Sam Thomas, chief nurse for Moray, said: “It cannot be stressed enough how much controlling spread has been allowing us to restart other parts of the health care system locally.
“Moray to date has had a lower number of cases than most regions in Scotland seeing less community transmission and a high uptake of vaccination across the population and it could well be, as a result of this success, we have less immunity in the wider population and a higher susceptibility to the virus at this point.
“Ultimately we’ve identified an increasing number of cases and we need to act now to ensure it does not continue to have a larger impact on the region and the services we provide.”
Moray Council is also currently providing testing for people who do not show any of the common or extended range of symptoms. Dates, locations and times can be found here.