The Western Cape Education Department Head of Department has written to Western Cape principals providing guidance on schools’ responses to the coronavirus.
This follows a letter sent in February before the first case was detected in South Africa providing detailed information on good hygiene practices to prevent illness, as well as posters for printing and display in school buildings.
The national Department of Basic Education issued a circular on Covid-19 this week with advice for schools. This circular was also distributed to schools today.
The National Government has not imposed a travel advisory. Therefore, the restriction of travel cannot be enforced at schools. We advise, though, that schools that have planned tours to high risk countries or areas should reconsider this, engage with their SGB and the parents of the touring learners and make a decision based on the risk and the country/area that they are travelling to.
In the event that parents, or learners, return from abroad, they should be carefully observed for up to 14 days to see if any symptoms develop.
We will inform schools immediately if the advisory changes.
What to do if a learner has been exposed to a confirmed case of Covid-19
Should a learner be in contact with a confirmed case then (and only then) it has been recommended to us that this learner stay at home for a two-week period. Should the need arise, the decision to close any public school will be made by the Head of Department in consultation with the school and health authorities.
Any suspected cases must be reported to the national hotline – 0800 029 999, or contact your health practitioner before visiting their surgery/clinic. If a school child is involved, please also report it to the WCED so that we can make a decision on the appropriate action.
We urge all schools and families to practice the preventative measures publicised by the Western Cape Department of Health, especially:
• the Safety Shake – no handshakes, gentle tap with feet
• the Healthy Hand wash – regularly for 20 seconds
• “Duck ‘n dab” if you sneeze or cough – into your elbow
Visit www.westerncape.gov.za\coronavirus for up to date information.