Covid-19 forces council to close certain classes at Balivanich

NHS Western Isles is reiterating safety advice after staff tested positive for COVID-19 infection in Balivanich Primary School, Benbecula.

By John A. MacInnes
Saturday, 14th November 2020, 9:04 pm
The council have closed some of the classes at Balivanich following staff members testing positive for Covid.
The council have closed some of the classes at Balivanich following staff members testing positive for Covid.

The NHS Western Isles Public Health Team has carried out its investigation and contact tracing is underway.

As a precautionary measure, Gaelic Medium classes 3-7 will close until Thursday 26th November and e-learning provision will be created to support pupils.

The Nursery, Gaelic Medium 1-2 and all three English Medium classes will remain open. The situation is being kept under review and the school management team will contact staff, pupils and parents if there are any further changes.

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NHS WI is reminding local residents that COVID-19 is very infectious and spreads easily but also can have serious complications for some people. So it is really vital that we help protect our community and each other by keeping to the guidance and observing the restrictions that are still in place. These include household restrictions, limiting travel, and avoiding car sharing where possible; alongside the personal behaviours of physical distancing, washing your hands and wearing face coverings in public areas.

The maximum number of people who can meet indoors in the Western Isles is six, which can be from up to 2 separate households. NHS WI is now asking that anyone who has travelled from areas with higher levels of COVID-19 infection on the mainland (such as most of England, the Central Belt and many other countries) in the preceding 14 days limits their contact with other island residents and should not meet with another household in a private home for a 14 day period from the date of their arrival on the Western Isles.

We would also ask people who need to travel for essential reasons to and from the mainland to be extra vigilant for symptoms - notably the characteristic ones for COVID-19 infection: of fever, or new continuous cough, or loss or change in sense of taste or smell. Other symptoms that people with COVID-19 infection can show are severe headache, aching bones or gastro-intestinal upset. If you are in doubt, then please self-isolate at home with your household and seek a test.

To access testing in the Western Isles, contact the COVID-19 Response Team on 01851 601151 or email: [email protected] The phoneline will be staffed from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday with an answering machine available outwith those hours.

Alternatively you can complete the online COVID-19 Testing Programme Referral Form (NHS Western Isles)


F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)

A – Avoid crowded places.

C – Clean your hands frequently, using water & soap whenever possible.

T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.

S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.

Please also ensure that you maintain good respiratory hygiene - cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue in a bin, or alternatively cough/sneeze into your elbow.

Visit or for further advice or information.