The provincial health department has cautioned tertiary education students about attending social gatherings after it was found that new cases reported by universities were linked to such activities.
The provincial health department has cautioned tertiary education students about attending social gatherings after it was found that new cases reported by universities were linked to such activities.

Caution issued as Covid-19 spreads at university social gatherings in province

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Jun 9, 2021

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THE provincial health department has cautioned tertiary education students about attending social gatherings after it was found that new cases reported by universities were linked to such activities.

Health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said surveillance teams also reported an increase in private sector testing which points to more affluent areas which were linked to social gatherings.

Among the areas identified were Rondebosch and Mowbray, where many students live.

“Irrespective of where we find ourselves, we all need to play our part in flattening the curve by adhering to the safety measures of avoiding large gatherings and indoor events with poor ventilation as well as wearing our masks in public.

“Our teams have previously reported sporadic cases at these universities which were linked to social gatherings.

“These areas are not deemed as hot spots but have seen cluster outbreaks following social gatherings. It is thus very important for all of us to continue following the safety measures,” said Van der Heever.

According to UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola, from May 15-June 1 the university had five reported new Covid-19 student cases.

“As at June 1, the university had 357 reported cases among non-health sciences staff members, with 328 recoveries. The number of students who have tested positive stood at 116, with 105 recoveries. The university has lost 19 staff members and three students to the virus.”

Stellenbosch University (SU) spokesperson Martin Viljoen said SU monitored cases on an ongoing basis.

He said that from May 31 until Sunday, 24 students tested positive for the virus. Of these four were in residences and five were staff members.

Viljoen said the university has also appointed 60 student safety ambassadors on campus who help with advocacy, compliance and monitoring to complement the status.

UWC spokesperson Gasant Abarder said: “UWC currently has zero active cases reported by students, zero cases in residence. We had one off-campus case reported three weeks ago.”

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) spokesperson Lauren Kansley said that while they had student cases, all of those infections took place in the community, not on campus.

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