UWC trying to track down contacts of staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus

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The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is currently tracing people who came into contact with a staff member who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

News24 previously reported that the staff member, who had recently travelled to another country, started presenting symptoms of the coronavirus and was subsequently tested.

On Thursday, the university's acting rector and vice-chancellor, Professor Vivienne Lawack, said a decision was taken to close the campus, adding that the staff member had come into contact with various academics but not students.

"Since the staff member interacted with others, we will close campus in the interest of the safety of our staff and students," Lawack said.

READ | UWC closes campus after staff member tests positive for the coronavirus

In a statement on Friday, Lawack said university personnel were tracing possible contacts and monitoring self-isolation processes.  

“As communicated previously, we are taking all the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“We will communicate, later this weekend, once we are apprised of the status of affected persons and the extent of self-isolation.”

While no academic activities are taking place, the university has not completely shut down, she added.

“Special measures have been taken to ensure that essential services continue on campus. Units are making use of skeleton staff, shifts, flexi-hours and some are able to work from home. This will ensure the continuation of the university’s operations,” Lawack said.

UWC also took the decision not to close the residences, saying that students could stay during the recess. A residence plan is currently being implemented for these students.

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