At least 176 schools in Gauteng have confirmed incidents of Covid-19 and more than 200 teachers and learners in the province have already tested positive for the new coronavirus.
A total of 188 teachers caught Covid-19 and 58 learners in the province tested positive since schools reopened on June 8.
No deaths of people under the age of 19 have been reported in the province so far. However, 2 085 new positive cases, most in the province so far, were confirmed on Wednesday. Gauteng is the new epicenter of the coronavirus in South Africa and the province has more active cases of Covid-19 than the Western Cape. More than 20,000 people in the province have already contracted the virus.
Most schools opened for gr. 7- and gr. 12 learners and the rest of the learners will return gradually. It was therefore expected that there would be an increase in incidents at schools.
Most of the learners – a total of 20 – tested positive for the virus in the Tshwane South district (Atteridgeville, Eldoraigne, Erasmia, Irene, Lyttelton, Mamelodi, Pretoria West, Rissik, Silverton and Centurion). A total of 15 teachers in this district have already contracted the virus.
Johannesburg East (Halfway House, Hyde Park, Lyndhurst, Modderfontein, Parktown, Sandton, Alexandra, Ivory Park and Midrand) is the district where most teachers – a total of 22 – tested positive for Covid-19.
The Gauteng provincial government said a handful of schools could not reopen at all because they lacked Covid 19 measures due to lack of infrastructure.
Hundreds of teachers in the province have also applied for leave because they have underlying illnesses. This raises concerns about the availability of sufficient staff.
However, it is not only Gauteng schools that go through.
The North West Department of Education said at least 30 new Covid-19 cases were reported at schools in the province last week. Six learners, 22 teachers, a deputy head and an administrative staff member contracted the virus.
The MEC for education in the province, Mmaphefo Matsemelo, said each school is linked to a clinic. Principals are trained to put those who show symptoms in isolation and the help of a nurse is called in as soon as a possible case is identified.
At least 14 schools in the province have already closed due to Covid-19 and will reopen after being thoroughly disinfected.
In the Northern Cape, six schools have closed to date due to Covid-19 infections. The schools are mainly located in the Pixley Ka Seme district in the De Aar area, where the Department of Health is currently conducting mass tests for the coronavirus.
In the Eastern Cape, the province with the third most Covid-19 cases, incidents were confirmed at several schools.
In one case , 204 people at a single school tested positive for the coronavirus.