The University of Cape Town (UCT) has confirmed a second positive case of the coronavirus.
According to university spokesperson Elijah Moholola, the infected staff member will be self-isolating for the next two weeks and is under the supervision of the National Department of Health.
“Contact tracing has already begun to identify the people who were in close contact with the staff member and they are all asymptomatic. They are in quarantine at home and are being monitored. The Dean of the affected faculty has communicated the matter to members of the faculty and the building where the staff member worked has been closed,” said Moholola.
UCT informed its students and staff that it would immediately break for the first term and suspend its classes.
The vacation for Term 1 would usually begin on Monday, March 30, and the beginning of Term 2 will be confirmed after the university assesses whether it is safe for students and staff to return to campus.
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has also announced that all staff will work from home with immediate effect as a staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“In consultation with the executive management committee and as a precautionary measure, I have decided that all staff must work from home with immediate effect,” Acting UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Vivienne Lawack said in a statement on Thursday, March 19. “We have learnt that a staff member from a faculty, who had travelled, has tested positive for COVID-19. After presenting with some symptoms, the staff member opted to be tested. In the meantime, however, he had been in contact with various academics, but not students.
Since the staff member interacted with others, we will close campus in the interest of the safety of our staff and students. We call on all those who travelled to self-isolate, have themselves tested and to notify their line managers of the outcome. There is no cause for panic, and we call on everyone to remain calm,” she added. “Line managers and Heads of Department are to employ the necessary business continuity plans immediately. Students who have opted to stay in residence during the recess are not affected, although those who choose to, may leave campus if they wish to.”
The reopening of campus will be announced once the university receives confirmation of who has been in contact with the staff member, as well as who has travelled, and if they have been cleared.
“The Executive Management Committee (EMC) wishes the affected parties a speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”