Scotland’s Covid-19 outbreak is now due to infections among adolescents, figures show.
More than 43% of the positive cases detected on Thursday were in the 15-19 age group, according to data released by Public Health Scotland.
Infection rates in this age group remained stable throughout the summer, but began to increase sharply from mid-September.
Public health teams are facing several outbreaks among students living in shared accommodation.
The biggest outbreak is at the University of Glasgow, where 172 students have tested positive.
There are also clusters of cases among students in Dundee, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. More than 1,000 students across the country are now believed to be self-isolating.
The Scottish government reported 714 new positive cases on Saturday – the highest daily total on the outbreak so far.
As of September 24, 43.3% of infections were in the 15-19 age group, 18.7% in 25 to 44 year olds and 17.2% in 20 to 24 year olds.
Positive cases among the oldest age groups remain very low.
While the 15-19-year-old range will also include infections in school-aged children, it is likely that most positive cases are at the higher end of the group – many of whom started college there. two weeks.
Tessa Mairi Morrison, a more recent University of Glasgow student who tested positive, said her roommates’ morale was low.
“Four of us have tested positive, two people have tested negative and the rest have not tested,” she told the BBC’s Politics Scotland program.
“And we can’t socialize at a distance in the apartment either, it’s impossible. We have a small kitchen and there are 11 of us cooking at a time.
“So people who don’t have coronavirus are going to get it. “
Ms Morrison said she believed it was a “mistake” to place people in dorms.
“Maybe they should have tested everyone beforehand, before they put us in theaters, or strictly contained it in theaters without spilling it out to the rest of Glasgow – or even put us in theaters in December, because it’s a bit of a nightmare, ”she added.
Students are not allowed to return home under Scottish Covid-19 regulations as they are deemed to have formed a new home with the people they currently live with.
How are infection rates changing across age groups?
As of August 1, infection rates in younger age groups have been higher, with rates among those over 65 being very low.
The highest rate has generally been in the 20-24 age group, but there was a significant change in mid-September.
How infection rates are changing
Weekly average per 100,000 people
The graph illustrates this by taking the average number of infections from the previous seven days and dividing it by the population of the age group.
On September 24, the rate per 100,000 people in the 15-19 age group was 48.7. The rate for the second highest group (20-24 years) was 18.5.
Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney said the Scottish Government’s advice to all students is to stay in their residence “if they are able”.
“This is to make sure that we minimize the spread of the virus across the country,” he told BBC Scotland.
“It is important that any self-isolating student – or students in general who find themselves in the hallways in the situation they are facing – receive the full and appropriate support from the university or college that is supporting them. .
“This is obviously an issue that we have prioritized in our discussions with universities over the past few days. “