Since the start of May, 49 schools in the Northern Cape have been closed for disinfection
A TOTAL of 163 Covid-19 cases were recorded at various schools in the Northern Cape this past week.
The provincial Department of Health said the positive cases included pupils, teachers and support staff.
Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said the sharp increase in infections at schools is very concerning.
“These statistics are concerning as it leads to the sporadic closure and reopening of schools. That has a negative impact on valuable learning and teaching time. Since the start of May 2021, 49 schools have been closed for disinfection, of which 14 schools are still closed. Most of those schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday, May 24 following the disinfection of the schools, as well as the isolation period of the affected staff,” said Van der Merwe.
“The Department of Education is working in partnership with the Department of Health and acts on the advice we receive from professional health care workers as it relates to Covid-19 infections in schools.”
Van der Merwe urged communities to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols in order to slow the infection rate.
“School communities also have a role to play in curbing the spread of Covid-19 in our schools. Our schools are a microcosm of society and therefore what transpires in our communities will have a direct impact on our schools and the education of our children. The virus spreads through human interaction and therefore requires all of us to act responsibly at all times,” he said.
Van der Merwe said the lives of pupils and education staff remain the top priority for the department.
“We value the lives of educators, learners and support staff at schools and therefore we will continue to strengthen our support to all our schools during the pandemic. All schools must remember to wear masks, wash or sanitise hands regularly and maintain social distancing at all times,” he concluded.