The number of E.coli cases has risen to 50, as two nurseries in East Lothian at the centre of the outbreak have reopened their doors to staff and pupils.
Almost a month ago, an outbreak of the bacterial infection forced Church Street Pear Tree Nursery to close on August 2, while its sister company Meadowpark Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington was shut ten days later on August 12.
Church Street Pear Tree Nursery in Haddington became the first to re-open on Monday August 29 and was followed by Meadowpark Pear Tree Nursery on Wednesday August 31.
Three other nurseries – West Road Pear Street Nursery, Musselburgh Private Nursery, Bridge Street and Musselburgh Private Nursery, Stoneybank – remain closed, but NHS Lothian confirmed that plans were in place and will be actioned “as soon as it is safe to do so”.
The chair of the incident management team (IMT) urged families to continue to follow precautions until nurseries reopened.
Dr Graham Mackenzie, consultant in public health medicine and chair of the IMT, said: “It is really encouraging to see these nurseries opening back up and children being able to return to school and nursery and we would like to thank the families who have worked with us.
“Over the last few weeks, hundreds of exclusion orders have been put in place to safeguard public health and safeguard communities.
“This has been challenging for everyone involved. We all know how difficult the Covid-19 lockdown and the pandemic has been on family life and that as a result these E. coli exclusions have been difficult for families to accept.
“However, the Health Protection Team has worked tirelessly to contain the outbreak and prevent wider spread and the IMT would like to thank them for all of their hard work and professionalism.
“Scores of exclusion orders have been lifted over recent days which means that some families can get back to normal. There are also enough staff and pupils who have been through the clearance process and provided two negative stool samples 24 hour apart, to make it feasible for Church Street and Meadowpark nurseries to reopen.
“I would remind families that they must wait for the Health Protection Team to give them clearance for their child to attend nursery to ensure there is no possibility of continuing transmission.
“The Health Protection Team will call you as soon as the results are through, so please remember there is no need to call through to check if they have been received.
“These lists are being regularly updated with nurseries to ensure they also know who to expect and when.”
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