775 schools hit by Covid-19 across SA

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Citizen. Photo: JACQUES NELLES

The department of education has confirmed that 775 schools have been affected by Covid-19 since grade 7 and grade 12 were allowed to continue with the academic calendar on 8 June.

The department said in a statement that 523 learners and 1,169 tested positive for the virus.

“Schools have been temporarily closed and reopened around the country in the past 3 weeks to allow affected areas to be disinfected. Just like clinics, police stations, shops, mines and other frequently visited places, schools 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 an environment with possible contamination.”

With other grades expected to return to school on the 6th of July 2020, the department urged school principals to ensure that all the health protocols at the schools were strictly followed.

“Principals must take measures to ensure that learners and employees are screened when the schools reopen using the department of health Covid-19 procedure and questionnaire. Learners and employees should report additional symptoms including body aches, loss of smell or loss of taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, weakness or tiredness.”

The department further said principal needed to ensure that learners and employees were informed, trained and instructed as to the correct use of cloth masks.

“They must also ensure that a risk assessment is conducted to identify categories of employees requiring personal protective equipment (PPE). Those employees should be provided with the accredited PPE in accordance with department of health guidelines.”

The department added that schools needed to take steps to circulate information about the disease and its potential transmission within the school community as they play an important role in the efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

“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. School plans should be designed to minimize the disruption of teaching and learning, and protect learners and staff from social stigma and discrimination.”

As of Friday, 26 June, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa stands at 124,590. With a total deaths of 2,340.

The Citizen