32 schools in the Western Cape are affected by Covid-19 cases
Cape Town - Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has revealed that 32 schools and 37 school staff members have been affected by Covid-19 in the Western Cape ahead of the schools reopening on Monday.
Schäfer said they have received a number of media inquiries about cases of Covid-19 at schools in the province, and that while they understand that the public is entitled to be informed, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) also has a duty to ensure that the information given does not compromise the confidentiality of staff or learners.
"Our staff is under enough stress without their individual schools being named in the media, which will also lead to further inquiries and added pressure.
"In addition, simply giving figures in the absence of any context or relevant factual information is not helpful, and could further aggravate the anxiety. Each case will have unique facts associated with it, which the schools will manage," Schäfer said.
"Parents and staff at a school have the right to know about any case at their particular school, and thus schools are expected to keep staff and parents informed of the developments related to Covid-19, and the steps that have been taken to ensure their safety."
Schäfer said that they have opted to provide the number of cases per district, but that the number of schools with confirmed staff cases does not mean that they contracted the virus at the school, nor does it mean that the school is at risk.
"In many of the cases, the staff member has not even returned to school since schools reopened as they fell ill before returning," the MEC said.
The WCED has issued guidelines to schools on how to manage confirmed, and suspected, cases of Covid-19, as well as the preventative screening measures all schools must implement daily.
These have been developed with the assistance of health authorities and can be viewed, along with other guidelines, here: https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/back-school