Dear Leadership Lekgotla colleagues
I recently sent a COO Desk to you to explain the arrangements in respect of COVID-19 management on campus during 2022.
I am now writing specifically on the issue of the flexibility pilot we have introduced across campus with the intention to optimise venue capacity and use, and enable us to maximise on-campus teaching. UCT has the support of Higher Health to pilot this intervention but must still maintain appropriate physical distancing.
Please take note of the following important elements of the pilot intervention:
Firstly, the 50% capacity limitation has been relaxed. We are able to do this given that engineering controls, in the form of ventilation, are already in place in venues.
Secondly, we are reducing the 1.5 m physical distancing requirement in venues to 1 m. The seating spaces in all teaching and learning venues are now spaced using a distance of 1 m between persons.
The provision of KN95 masks for each person in the venue is an added safety precaution. Colleagues in the Properties and Services department have prepared centrally bookable venues in this manner. Faculty leadership must please ensure that all faculty managed spaces, including research and laboratory spaces, are marked out for 1 m distancing.
We are supplying three KN95 masks to staff and students as an added safety precaution. These masks have been certified by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS). Stocks of the KN95 masks will be available at the CANSA Building in Main Road, Mowbray and can be ordered through an online ordering system facilitated by UCT’s Occupational Health and Safety services. We are phasing in the supply of KN95 masks and all faculties must request enough stock in order to issue three masks per staff member and three masks per student that will be attending face-to-face engagements. Students living in UCT residences should collect their masks from their residence. Students not in residence should collect their masks from their specific faculty. Faculties and residences are required to keep a record of the issuing of masks. We are aware that some KN95 masks have been independently purchased in some departments and we appreciate those proactive measures.
I continue to encourage staff and students to get vaccinated and to observe basic health and safety protocols to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, including physical distancing, wearing of masks, and hand hygiene.
If you have any queries or need assistance please contact the COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety representative in your faculty, department or residence.
I trust these interventions will enable us to return to more face-to-face teaching and learning and assist us in creating an enhanced campus experience for our students.
Dr Reno Morar
Chief Operating Officer
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