Dear colleagues and students
I am writing to inform you that we have confirmed a third positive case of COVID-19 at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Our first case was confirmed on Sunday 15 March 2020 and the second case on Thursday 19 March 2020.
The first case was a UCT-employed staff member. The second was a UCT-based visiting researcher associated with a department at UCT. The third case confirmed today, 21 March, is a UCT-employed project manager who worked in the same department as the second case.
In all three instances the Provincial Department of Health confirmed the cases through the prescribed protocol. The three colleagues involved are in quarantine. The Department of Health has also immediately begun contact tracing in the respective cases and those identified as close contacts have been informed and asked to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
We continue to monitor each case and we wish all three colleagues the best in what is a difficult time. We sincerely trust that they will return to their full health.
Please note we are committed to maintain confidentiality in relation to the medical conditions of staff. This includes the information in relation to testing for whatever infectious or non-infectious diseases a person may have and is an important ethical imperative. Breaking that confidentiality is not acceptable and for healthcare professionals (who include health scientists) is against all moral codes. Naming people in e-mails or over social media platforms, or releasing information about them that could identify them, must be avoided.
Please visit UCT’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 feature page on the UCT News website, which has all the relevant information in relation to UCT’s response to the pandemic.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Updates will be posted on UCT’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 feature page on the UCT News website.
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COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March 2020 and to implement a national lockdown from 26 March 2020. UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.
Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has in June 2022 repealed some of South Africa’s remaining COVID-19 regulations: namely, sections 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions under the National Health Act. We are now no longer required to wear masks or limit gatherings. Venue restrictions and checks for travellers coming into South Africa have now also been removed.
“After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.”
– Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng
With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.
UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) collaborated with Global Citizen, speaking to trusted experts to dispel vaccine misinformation.
If you have further questions about the COVID-19 vaccine check out the FAQ produced by the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF). The DTHF has developed a dedicated chat function where you can ask your vaccine-related questions on the bottom right hand corner of the website.
“As a contact university, we look forward to readjusting our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in 2023 as the COVID-19 regulations have been repealed.”
– Prof Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.