8 schools closed as Northern Cape education dept sees resurgence of Covid-19 cases

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Northern Cape schools have experienced a resurgence of Covid-19 infections over the past week.
Northern Cape schools have experienced a resurgence of Covid-19 infections over the past week.
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  • Northern Cape schools have experienced a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.
  • More than 520 staff and pupils have been infected this week.
  • Eight schools have been closed due to Covid-19 infections.

Northern Cape schools have experienced a resurgence of Covid-19 infections over the past week.

Last week, there was a "sharp increase in Covid-19 infections" among pupils and staff, said Northern Cape education department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe.

Cases have been steadily decreasing since the start of the third term, having shown a significant decrease in the previous week.

However in the past week, eight schools were closed due to Covid-19 infections and to allow for contact tracing and disinfection of the school premises to be done, he added.

READ | Covid-19: SA records 10 748 new cases as death toll climbs by 170

"The department recorded 526 new Covid-19 infections, which includes 54 educators, 439 learners and 33 support staff at schools," he said.

Five schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday.

The Northern Cape has experienced high infection rates for several weeks, with Health Minister Joe Phaahla saying in a digital briefing on Friday the province appeared to have shown little recovery between its second and third waves.

As of Sunday, the province had recorded 488 new infections, the national health department said.

READ | Basic education dept says between 50% and 75% of learning was lost in 2020

It has had a total of 76 726 infections.

Van der Merwe said:

The pandemic is causing major disruptions in the education sector, and the department is deeply concerned about the loss of learning and teaching time.

The department has rolled out curriculum recovery plans for schools directly affected by the pandemic and weekend classes for matric pupils.

"This places an increased strain on our educators, learners and support staff at schools to ensure that the trimmed curriculum is fully covered and learners are well prepared for the end-of-year examinations," he added.

"The department is doing its utmost best to support all educators and learners during these difficult times. We are all in this together, working under tremendous pressure, and we will succeed if we continue to work together."

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