A fifth positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the University of Cape Town (UCT) community. Unlike the previous four cases, this case was confirmed in KwaZulu-Natal. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health confirmed the case through the prescribed protocol and is caring for the student and conducting contact tracing.
The declaration of a national lockdown has once again required changes to planning for teaching and learning at UCT. Public universities have agreed to reopen academic activities on 20 April.
Learning Online Orientation for UCT students will run from 20 to 24 April to ensure that as many students as possible are ready to start learning. The first week of teaching will start on 27 April.
An SMS survey of technological and environmental readiness among our students will be run to ascertain their various needs, and UCT will be distributing laptops after 17 April to identified undergraduate students.
Some students will require additional face-to-face learning when they return to campus, and UCT will make available extra resources to cope with the extra demand.
The Centre for Higher Education Development is supporting staff to help them refashion their courses to a different mode of teaching. We are also developing an appropriate framework for assessment and quality assurance.
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March. This was followed by the implementation of a national lockdown, which has been in effect since midnight on 26 March and is currently scheduled until 16 April. The intention of this drastic measure is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
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.