Schools: 523 pupils, 1 169 staff test positive for Covid-19

Schools: 523 pupils, 1 169 staff test positive for Covid-19
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Learners compliance with health, safety and social distancing requirements during the reopening of schools to ensure safety of learners at Rev. A Mapheto Primary School in Tembisa.(Photo: GCIS)

Learners compliance with health, safety and social distancing requirements during the reopening of schools to ensure safety of learners at Rev. A Mapheto Primary School in Tembisa.(Photo: GCIS)

  • 523 pupils, 1 169 staff members and 775 schools have been affected by Covid-19, according to the Department of Basic Education.
  • The department urged schools to follow health protocols closely to manage the virus.
  • “Schools have been temporarily closed and reopened around the country in the past three weeks to allow affected areas to be disinfected,” it said.

The Department of Basic Education says 523 pupils and 1 169 school staff members have tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement on Saturday, the department said 775 schools across South Africa had been impacted.

“Schools have been temporarily closed and reopened around the country in the past three weeks to allow affected areas to be disinfected,” it said.

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“Schools, just like clinics, police stations, shops, mines and other frequently visited places have found themselves also having to close and reopen.

“This is in response to infections identified during the screening process and in line with health protocols on how to treat and environment with possible contamination,” the department added.

Breakdown

Breakdown of Covid-19 cases in school as of 27 Jun

Breakdown of Covid-19 cases in school as of 27 June 2020 (Source: Department of Basic Education)

Department urges caution

The department urged schools to strictly follow health protocols to manage Covid-19.

It called on schools to ensure that pupils and employees are screened using the Department of Health Covid-19 procedures and questionnaire.

“Learners and employees should report any of the following additional symptoms: body aches, loss of smell or loss of taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, weakness or tiredness.”

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Schools should also ensure that pupils and employees are informed on the correct use of cloth masks and that a risk assessment is conducted to identify employees needing PPE, the department said.

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“Schools play an important role in the efforts to control the spread of Covid-19. Schools must therefore take steps to circulate information about the disease and its potential transmission within the school community.

“Schools must prepare to take the steps necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among their learners and staff, should health officials identify the need,” it said.

School plans should also be designed to minimise disruption to teaching and protect pupils and staff from stigma or discrimination, the department said.

“Plans can build on the recommended everyday practices (the Golden Rules): encouraging conscientious hand hygiene (frequent and thorough hand washing and avoidance of touching of the face and eyes), cough etiquette, staying at home when sick, and monitoring absenteeism and communicating routinely,” the department said. 

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