Covid-19 spreading in schools, businesses and offices

In Italy, only about a third of people with the virus were simptomatic.
In Italy, only about a third of people with the virus were simptomatic.

As cases of Covid-19 continue to escalate, more Pietermaritzburg schools and stores have reported positive cases.

On Thursday it emerged that two employees at Clicks and Checkers at the Cascades Lifestyle Centre had tested positive for Covid-19. In a post on Facebook, Cascades Lifestyle Centre said Clicks underwent a deep clean on Wednesday and that the store had been reopened on Thursday.

“All staff that were in the store are in quarantine; the staff working at the store now are from other branches. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding,” read the post.

The Checkers group also confirmed that an employee had tested positive.

In a statement to The Witness, the group said the store was closed and a professional decontamination company was brought in for sanitisation and deep cleaning.

“An employee screening programme supported by the company’s mobile clinic was immediately put into place. Where necessary, those with close contact are required to self-quarantine for 14 days,” Checkers said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Pelham Senior Primary School issued a letter to parents informing them that a Grade 7 pupil had the virus.

The school’s principal Lorrel Wissing, said the pupil was at the school on Wednesday and had been collected by his parents after a close family member tested positive for the virus.

“All protocols were followed once the school was made aware of the test result and a full sanitisation of the classroom and surrounds was carried out immediately after the pupil had been collected,” Wissing said.

She said all those in the same classroom as the positive pupil have also been advised to get tested.

Maritzburg College also sent out a letter to parents informing them that a teacher at the school had tested positive. “The educator is not a sixth form teacher and has not been present at school this week and had very limited contact with a small group of boys last week,” the school said.

Principal Chris Luman said the school will remain open and that the five pupils who were in contact with the teacher will be sent home for isolation and testing.

Maritzburg Muslim School for Girls also issued a letter on Thursday stating that one of their pupils had tested positive. Principal Ebrahim Haffajee said the pupil in question has not been at school recently and has attended school for two days since re-opening.

He said the school will be closed for two days for decontamination. “It was found that there are no pupils or staff at risk to be tested,” he said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the AS Chetty Building also had to be temporarily closed on Thursday after a staff member tested positive.

Mafumbatha said the positive employee is at reception and interacts with many employees and the public.

She said the occupational health unit has started the tracking and tracing process.

The AS Chetty building will reopen on Monday for normal duties.

At Garden City Motors, employees were up in arms on Thursday after they say they were not informed that one of the staff members had tested positive for Covid-19.

An employee, who spoke to The Witness who asked to remain unnamed for fear of reprisals said they were told that the offices will be decontaminated overnight. “We have been told to return to work tomorrow [today].

“That’s unprocedural because we need to self-isolate until we know whether or not we’re infected.”

The infected employee who works in the motor parts unit allegedly tested positive after complaining that he was experiencing shortness of breath.

Garden City Motors manager Falisa Suleman declined to comment on the positive case and asked that questions be e-mailed to her.

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