18 Northern Cape schools closed as Covid-19 cases surge

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Fumigation at Rhodesfield Technical High School in Kempton Park in preparation of the Opening of schools under Level 3 Lockdown. [Photo: GCIS]
Fumigation at Rhodesfield Technical High School in Kempton Park in preparation of the Opening of schools under Level 3 Lockdown. [Photo: GCIS]
  • In the past week, 264 new Covid-19 cases have been detected in Northern Cape schools. 
  • Education Minister Angie Motshekga published a government gazette that all primary school pupils should be back at school on 26 July.  
  • Since the beginning of May, 79 schools in the province have been closed for decontamination. 

Eighteen schools in the Northern Cape remain closed as the province battles high Covid-19 infections. 

On Sunday, the provincial education department, in a statement, said it was taking precautions to curb the virus in schools.

"During the past week, the department recorded 264 positive cases at schools. It is worth noting that this total represents 180 learners, 62 educators and 22 support staff at schools," it added.

According to the department, all school districts were affected, which had a negative impact on learning and teaching.

It said an increase in Covid-19 cases had led to the "disruptive opening and closure of schools" in the past three weeks. 

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Since 1 May, 79 schools have been closed to allow for disinfection, while 18 remained closed. 

"These statistics are a clear indication for all school communities to be extra vigilant and to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations at all times. Whilst schools are still making use of differentiated timetables and rotating learners daily, parents also need to provide support at home."

The department added schools would also implement recovery plans where pupils would be expected to be at schools for extended hours to make up for learning losses. 

Last week, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga gazetted the return of all primary and special education needs pupils to school by 23 July.

This means schools will no longer implement the rotational timetable system that was implemented last year.  

A statement by the basic education department said:

Based on the risk-adjusted differentiated strategy, schools for pupils with special education needs [grades R to 12] must also return to the daily attendance and traditional timetabling model from 26 July.

The second term ends on 9 July, and schools will reopen on 26 July for the third term.  

Gauteng cases 

Gauteng, which is in the third wave of Covid-19, also continues to see an increase in the number of new positive cases.

On Saturday, it recorded 2 225 new cases. 

The number of active cases in the province is 15 546, while 2 407 people are currently hospitalised battling Covid-19. 

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Cases are continuing to surge in the City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.

The Johannesburg region recorded 680 new cases, Tshwane 653 and Ekurhuleni 403. 

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