COVID-19 FAQ's

30 March 2022

FAQ in the event the vaccination policy is not mandated

(Updated 30 March 2022) No, UCT has not adopted a mandatory vaccination policy. Every staff member and student is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated including all booster shots. The science is very clear. Vaccination prevents serious disease and death.

As per the Section 8 of the Government Gazette released on 15 February 2022, employers may be required to gather information about persons who are vaccinated or not. Should this become mandatory, you will be notified through a Campus Announcement.

(Updated 30 March 2022) UCT has taken all reasonably practicable risk mitigation measures to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

UCT will continue to follow the necessary and prescribed regulatory guidelines and protocols as published from time to time by the respective national ministries.

In managing the COVID-19 pandemic and working in partnership with colleagues, you may not request a waiver of the ‘in-person’ requirement to return to work on the basis that a person is not vaccinated.

Given the current trajectory of the pandemic, you are still required to come to work irrespective of whether there are unvaccinated colleagues with whom you may come into contact. The most common COVID-19 variant that is being spread currently is the Omicron variant. It is recognised that this variant is more transmissible, and the vaccines are only 30 to 50% effective in preventing person to person transmission (although vaccines are very effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalisation and death). Even if a person is fully vaccinated, they can still contract COVID-19 and transmit the virus, although studies show this is less likely if one is fully vaccinated.

(Updated 30 March 2022) It is true that Omicron is more transmissible than other variants such as Delta. As mentioned above, the current data shows that the vaccines are less effective in preventing transmission of Omicron. However, vaccination reduces the severity of disease and hospitalisation, as well as reducing death rates. Even if a person has had COVID-19, studies show that a combination of natural immunity from infection together with immunity from vaccination greatly improves the immune response and decreases the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.

(Updated 30 March 2022) No, you do not need to complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire in order to access UCT campuses.

If you are feeling unwell and have symptoms including fever, tiredness, dry cough, aches and pains, blocked or running nose, sore throat or diarrhoea, please be responsible and avoid coming onto campus.

Should the Daily Screening requirements change, you will be notified through a campus announcement.

(Updated 30 March 2022) If you do not have any symptoms and test positive, you can enter campus but take every precaution to ensure that you do not transmit the virus, by wearing a mask at all times, ensuring physical distancing and sanitising.

(Updated 30 March 2022) The Amended Regulations issued in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act (01/02/2022) require that a COVID-19 positive person who has symptoms should isolate for the period as recommended by the National Department of Health (currently seven days), unless a longer period is recommended by a medical practitioner. Please report this using the COVID-19 reporting system on the UCT Online Health Centre, be responsible and avoid coming to campus if you are positive and symptomatic.

Staff
The Amended Regulations issued in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act (01/02/2022) require that a COVID-19 positive person who has symptoms should inform their employer and isolate for the period as recommended by the National Department of Health (currently seven days), unless a longer period is recommended by a medical practitioner. This will be regarded as sick leave and sick leave forms should be submitted to your line manager.

Students
Please contact the Student Wellness Service (SWS), and follow the SWS protocol for managing COVID-19 symptoms. Read more about COVID-19 support for students on the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) website.

(Updated 30 March 2022) Masks are still required to be worn indoors, but do not need to be worn when in an outdoor setting.

You are encouraged however to wear a mask when in a congregate setting outdoors.

(Updated 30 March 2022) The Social Distancing as of 23 March 2022 has been reduced to 1 m.

(Updated 30 March 2022) No, Should the State of Disaster as per the Disaster Management Act fall away, there will still be some precautions that will be required by legislation. These requirements will be communicated to you via a campus announcement. In the interim we should continue to observe physical distancing, wearing of masks and sanitising.

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