At least 37 teachers and other staff at 32 Western Cape schools tested positive for Covid-19 by Friday.
Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape MEC for Education, said in a statement that the names of the specific schools where the cases are will not be disclosed for reasons of staff and pupil confidentiality and that the schools will not be stigmatized.
“Our staff already have enough stress as it is and to name the names will only lead to further pressure on the schools,” Schäfer said.
Furthermore, it does not help to just name a school and say how many cases there are. Each case is unique with unique circumstances, and schools will manage it that way.
Schäfer says parents and pupils do have the right to know if there are any instances at a particular school and therefore schools are expected to inform staff and parents about them, as well as the steps taken to ensure safety on the school premises. .
“It also does not mean that if there are cases at a school, the virus has spread there or that the school is at risk of infection.”
In many cases, the teachers did not even return to school after schools reopened, according to Schäfer. They were already infected with the virus before schools reopened.
She said with the fact that more people will be infected, it is expected that teachers can get sick too.
Schools must follow specific guidelines when pupils and staff enter the school grounds.
There is also a protocol on what to do if a person was in a school field and then tested positive. The part where the staff member was on site will be sanitized and those in direct contact with the person will have to go in isolation for 14 days.
However, this does not mean the entire school will close.