How UKZN plans to open its campuses amid the Covid-19 pandemic
Durban - As the country prepares to move down to level 3 of the national coronavirus lockdown, the University of KwaZulu-Natal has laid out plans on its staggered approach to opening its campuses to students and staff in the coming weeks.
Last week, the first batch of students, final-year medical students, returned to campus and soon students from different colleges are set to return too, said UKZN spokesperson, Normah Zondo.
She said UKZN was preparing for the next phase of its staggered approach to returning students and staff to campus and will soon release a communique with details on the next phase outlining dates of return
However, all UKZN employees who are at high risk and/or can carry out their work duties from home will be encouraged to do so, following engagement with their line manager about working remotely.
"Hygiene and physical distancing ambassadors for each class and residence will be trained. Residents’ assistants and matrons will also be included in the training so as the same principles are followed in student accommodation," Zondo said.
"UKZN requires that all classes and meetings take place remotely, where possible. The library will remain closed until further notice. e-Books will be made available and training will be provided on how to access these. Once opened, access to the library will be restricted both in numbers and duration (dependent on the size of the library)."
Students who use the intercampus shuttle services will have to adhere to hand and respiratory hygiene, and physical distancing.
Zondo said that UKZN, in addition would ensure that all buildings, offices, campus residential facilities, water and sanitation facilities within the campuses were cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening.
"UKZN is committed to protecting staff and students and we encourage all to adhere to individual and collective hygiene practices as well as physical distancing measures as stipulated in national and provincial guidelines to prevent transmission of the coronavirus (Covid-19). In line with government regulations, arrangements have been made for screening, testing, quarantining where necessary, and the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s)," she said.
Among those measures are that daily screening for symptoms using a self-screening app based on the NICD criteria for screening would be undertaken.
"For those who do not have access to smartphones, the screening will be conducted by the security personnel at UKZN Campus gates and all entry points. Personal Protective Equipment: All staff and students will be provided with two cloth masks, a pocket sanitiser and an information leaflet in line with the provisions of the regulations. Additional precautions for health science students in clinical practice will be taken: They will be offered a cloth mask and a visor as well as sanitisers for use in clinical facilities," Zondo said.