Publication - Minutes

Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group minutes: 18 May 2020

Published: 21 May 2020
Date of meeting: 18 May 2020

A note of the sixteenth meeting of the COVID-19 Advisory Group held on Monday 18 May 2020.

21 May 2020
Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group minutes: 18 May 2020

Items and actions

1. The Advisory Group held a deep dive discussion on return to education, with a particular focus on early learning. The group noted that their expertise spans epidemiology, virology, public health, behavioural sciences, global health, medicine and statistical modelling, and advice given on this issue will come from that perspective. The group noted further that the Scottish Government would need to balance any health risks associated with school return against the harms of missing education and childcare, and that the Scottish Government has access to relevant experts who can advise on this.

2. The group noted that the positivity rate of tests for COVID-19 carried out in children has been far lower than for other age groups. Additionally, it appears to be rare for children to experience severe symptoms.

3. The group discussed that it is still a matter of uncertainty whether children are implicated in transmission of the virus. This appears to be rare, which is significant in the context of early learning, where social distancing will not be possible.

4. The Group also considered the regular update of discussions at SAGE and between 4 nation Chief Scientific Advisers.