Dundee City Council is working closely with partners across the city to deal with the ongoing impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Officers are monitoring the local situation daily and following the advice given by government and NHS public health experts. The council continues to consider appropriate actions based on the national guidance.
As of today (Friday October 16)
- A new walk-through Coronavirus testing centre has opened today in the centre of Dundee.
- Families are being urged to help in school covid prevention as primaries, secondaries and nurseries prepare to open their doors on Monday (October 19)
- Police Scotland are confirming that they will be assisting in the city council’s school road safety campaign by deploying officers to areas surrounding schools as the new term starts on Monday (October 19).
- The Council’s Scottish Welfare Fund is now administering the Scottish Government Self Isolation Support Grants.
A new walk-through Coronavirus testing centre has opened today in the centre of Dundee.
The facility is within the Park Place car park on the University of Dundee campus and is operated by Mitie on behalf of the UK Government.
The Dundee site is the first self-cleaning facility in Scotland. This involves decontaminating each testing cubicle with dry mist between each use - helping to speed up the cleaning process and increase the testing capacity.
The site operates seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm, and is only for those who don’t have access to a car. Tests must be booked in advance
via www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816.
Further details about the centre and other local Coronavirus testing facilities can be found on the Tayside Cares website.
Elsewhere, as families prepare for the return of Dundee schools and nurseries from the October holiday on Monday (October 19), a senior councillor is asking them to think seriously about coronavirus safety for the new term.
Stewart Hunter, who is convener of children and families services, explained: “While new measures around home visiting have come in over the last few weeks which are designed to curb the spread of the virus, schools and nurseries remain open for learning and teaching.
“So, this means we all have to be extra vigilant as the new term begins.
“To our pupils I would say look after yourselves and if you feel that you have any symptoms please stay away from school and get a test. We all need to act responsibly.
"There can be no let-up in our efforts to guard against the virus, and everyone has their part to play - including families who are dropping off and picking up their children. National guidelines around issues like two metre physical distancing should be followed at all times.
“Hygiene measures will still be in place in our nurseries and schools including the staggering of breaks and lunches, as well as hand sanitising and the wearing of face coverings where appropriate.
“Secondary pupils should always wear a face covering when moving about in corridors and when they visit shops at lunchtime.
“All pupils over the age of five should be wearing a face covering when they are on school transport or public transport. It is vitally important that they do help stop the spread of the virus.
“We appreciate that some staff and children and young people who cannot wear a face covering for good reasons and that position will be respected.”
As the new term begins, city council breakfast clubs will reopen, and school lunches will include a hot bagged meal.
Councillor Hunter added: “Cases that emerged in Dundee schools and nurseries last term were dealt with quickly by public health teams working closely with council officers.
“I would like to reassure families that we are all are committed to the welfare and education of every pupil.
“Since last term, the Scottish Government has confirmed that next year’s National 5 exams have been cancelled and that results will be confirmed through assessments and coursework.
“Schools will be providing more information to families in the new term about how this will go ahead and how teachers and school staff will support their children through this change.”
Meanwhile, Police Scotland are confirming that they will be assisting in the city council’s school road safety campaign by deploying officers to areas surrounding schools as the new term starts on Monday.
Roads Policing Sergeant William Strachan said: "Road safety is quite rightly a significant concern for parents in many schools and Police Scotland is fully committed to reducing incidents on our roads and working in partnership with schools to provide support where required.
"Speeding is always a top concern in any community especially near schools therefore motorists should always drive cautiously and slow-down. I would remind those who do the school run to not obstruct driveways, and do not park on zig zag lines. Extreme caution is required when young children are in the vicinity, so please be alert.
"Preventative activity is carried out in Dundee throughout the year by Police to send a clear message about the importance of taking care when driving or walking to and from school. It is absolutely crucial that pupils, parents and motorists alike are aware of the dangers of the road and that we speak to each other to raise awareness.”
Finally, the council’s Scottish Welfare Fund is now administering the Scottish Government Self Isolation Support Grants.
The purpose of the grant is to assist people on low incomes to self-isolate and in doing so prevent the spread of COVID-19. This should support people to be able to meet the Test & Protect Service's requirement for them to self-isolate during the 14 day period.
You can find more details on the council’s website
The full list of council services affected by Coronavirus is available on the council’s website.
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.