The building of the King Edward VII School in Houghton. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko
The building of the King Edward VII School in Houghton. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Joburg’s King Edward VII School among 20 Gauteng public schools closed due to rising Covid-19 infections

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Jun 14, 2021

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Johannesburg - The King Edward VII School in Houghton and 19 other schools in the province have been closed due to rising coronavirus infections in Gauteng.

At the King Edward VII School, also known as KES, more than 30 boys and three teachers tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the school to close until at least next Monday.

Last week alone, the Gauteng Health Department confirmed over 24 000 residents in the province had tested positive for the virus, including at least 1 000 pupils and teachers.

The KES headmaster declined to comment on Monday, diverting all queries to the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE).

The Gauteng Health Department said as of Monday, there were over 4 891 new coronavirus infections in the province.

South Africa is now into the third wave of the coronavirus, with Gauteng province the most affected, with the most active cases in the country.

Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said 20 schools had been closed in Gauteng due to the virus.

“We can confirm that about 20 schools have been closed due to the escalating number of Covid-19 infections. At King Edward VII about 34 learners are presently in isolation after testing positive to Covid-19 as well as three educators.

“It must be noted that schools are closed interchangeably and we would like to implore schools to continue to follow national Covid-19 protocols which require all at the school to wear masks, sanitise their hands and maintain social distance,” he said.

The Johannesburg and Tshwane regions had the most new infections in the province, with 1 975 and 1 318 respectively, while Ekurhuleni recorded 979 368 in the West Rand and 229 in Sedibeng.

More than 3 600 people have been hospitalised owing to the virus, said the Gauteng provincial health department in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, at the schools, Mabona said there was a defined process for positive cases that was followed in the education sector.

“When a positive case of Covid-19 is reported at a school, a medical report is requested to be sent to the school. The principal writes a report and sends it to the GDE Covid-19 Enquiries section, the Health Department and the Circuit Office through the cluster leader.

“The affected area must also be decontaminated,” he said.

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