A large number of South Ayrshire schools have been caught up in the COVID surge currently hitting the area.

There are currently twenty schools where coronavirus cases have been recorded in the past week.

Health chiefs have sought to allay fears that these schools are experiencing outbreaks, saying the cases could be individuals or small clusters.

They advised that because of the interconnectedness of school children to the wider community, via their parents and activities, it could have implications for case numbers in the area.

It's not yet know wether it is the Delta variant driving the surge in cases.

Lynne McNiven, Director of Public Health for NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: "Contact tracing has taken place in the following South Ayrshire schools between the period of 28/05/2021 – 07/06/2021. Please note that this does not necessarily mean a school outbreak. Some will have sporadic cases and clusters.

"As schools are part of our communities, when cases are identified within school settings there may be a link with the places and people who live in the nearby area. This may not necessarily have Delta variant involvement."

It comes as cases in the area are continuing to rise and at one point on Sunday/Monday topping the chart of worst affected council areas in the country.

Read more: South Ayrshire topping the table of COVID hit council areas

South Ayrshire is currently one of the worst affected council areas for COVID when measured as cases per 100,000 of population.

The measurement, which has been used to categorise local authority areas into levels, shows that South Ayrshire now has a worse rate than even Glasgow City and for a time on Sunday/Monday was the country’s worst.

There have been 201 cases in the most recent seven day period (May 29-June 4) recorded by Public Health Scotland, which translates as 178.5 per 100,000 of population. Only Dundee City (186.8) and Clackmannanshire (190.1) have worse rates. 

Earlier this year, a seven-day rate that high would have seen us placed in level four, but currently, the government is looking at more factors when determining council area levels, such as hospitalisations and ICU admissions.

Over the weekend there was a pop-up vaccine clinic in Troon where walk-ins were welcomed, in an attempt to keep the virus at bay. A whopping 1,895 vaccines were administered on Sunday (June 6) at Walker Hall.

The schools to have had contact tracing exercises since May 28 are as follows:

Annbank Primary School

Ayr Academy

Ayr Grammar School

Belmont Academy

Cairn Primary School

Coylton Primary School

Dalmilling Primary School

Doonfoot Primary School

Fisherton Primary School

Forehill Primary School

Glenburn Primary School

Heathfield Primary School

Kyle Academy

Prestwick Academy

St Johns Primary School

Marr College

Queen Margaret Academy

Monkton Primary School

Struthers Primary School

Symington Primary School