Your role in limiting the health risk of returning to UCT

22 September 2020 | From Kgethi
 

Dear students and colleagues

The shift to Lockdown Level One from midnight on Sunday, 20 September 2020, combined with the phased return of some students and staff members to campus, is raising many questions about the possible effect on the University of Cape Town (UCT).

I am writing to remind you that our top priority is the health and safety of every person who enters campus property. For this reason, only those who have received written invitations or letters of authorisation may return.

All of us on campus, staff members and students, need to help each other to follow the basic rules for reducing the chance of spreading infection:

  • Wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times when outside of your private room or workspace.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5m from other people. Staff members must maintain this distance at their work areas.
  • Regularly wash or sanitise your hands (sanitisers are available at all building entrances).

Everyone who returns to campus at this time will need to observe all public health and safety protocols.

Students can only return to residence if they have received an invitation to do so, and may only arrive on the date specified in that invitation. Students exercise individual accountability in complying with the obligatory public health safety measures listed above, to protect their own health and that of the residence community.

Catering operations will resume from 1 October 2020 for students who have meal plan options. Students undergoing compulsory quarantine can collect daily meal packs at a designated point within the residence during quarantine. Students will only be allowed in the dining hall after they have completed their compulsory quarantine and must comply with the dining hall protocols.

Cleaning materials and refuse bags will be provided to residence students to freshen up their rooms and dispose of refuse. Students will remain responsible for their room hygiene.

As a campus community, we are relying on each of you to take personal responsibility to follow these protocols and to remind each other if someone happens to forget them. Because these protocols are so important, there is also a legal responsibility to follow them. In adhering to these protocols, we are fulfilling our part of the collective community responsibility to help protect people from the impact of this pandemic. We are jointly responsible to protect all students, staff and visitors to UCT, as well as their loved ones at home. We are responsible for each other and UCT will take the required action against any breach of these protocols.

In an effort to prevent persons who may be infected with COVID-19 from entering the university and transmitting the infection, Campus Protection Services (CPS) colleagues are under instruction to check all people coming onto campus. For access to campus, each staff member and student must first receive a letter of authorisation to enter campus. You must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom checklist using the Higher Health app. No person will be permitted to enter campus without the ‘green light’ on the app as evidence that you are symptom safe to do so.

You must be able to show the Green result of the Higher Health app every day, along with your letter of authorisation. Access to buildings will be monitored by CPS colleagues. Anyone entering a building must use the hand sanitiser at the entrance*. Stricter protocols may also be required for access to certain labs and offices.

Because of the need for social distancing, it is safest to limit the number of people on campus and in rooms. For this reason, we still encourage UCT students and staff members who can work from home to continue to do so.

I urge you to read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about UCT’s response to COVID-19. We will continue to update the FAQs as new information becomes available.

It is important to remember what President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “By any measure, we are still in the midst of a deadly epidemic. Our greatest challenge now – and our most important task – is to ensure that we do not experience a new surge in infections.”

Because we are a campus community, it is important to watch out for each other. We do this by each taking personal responsibility to follow the protocols during this COVID-19 pandemic as well as helping others to be compliant with the protocols. Thank you for paying attention to these rules and helping each other to follow them.

Sincerely

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Vice-Chancellor

* All individuals must be able to produce the result of the daily Covid-19 symptom screening ‘HealthCheck’ and will only be allowed onto campus if it is a ‘green’ result. For individuals who do not have an appropriate personal electronic device, CPS staff will assist them to complete at the ‘HealthCheck’ app at the entry point to campus. In addition individuals must carry with them a letter of invitation, letter of authorisation and their staff access card. Please refer to the Departmental Return-to-Work Plan as approved by the CCC regarding management of building access. Anyone entering a building must use the hand sanitiser where provided. Stricter protocols may also be required for access to certain labs and offices.
Updated: 08:30, 23 September 2020

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UCT’s response to COVID-19

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.

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.

Frequently asked questions

 

Daily updates


Friday, 16 October 10:05, 16 October 2020
Wednesday, 14 October 12:50, 14 October 2020
Tuesday, 22 September 14:10, 22 September 2020
Friday, 11 September 10:05, 11 September 2020
Monday, 31 August 12:20, 31 August 2020
Wednesday, 12 August 10:20, 12 August 2020
Friday, 7 August 11:24, 7 August 2020
Thursday, 6 August 18:26, 6 August 2020
Monday, 27 July 14:00, 27 July 2020
Wednesday, 15 July 09:30, 15 July 2020
Monday, 13 July 14:25, 13 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 16:20, 6 July 2020
Thursday, 25 June 10:15, 25 June 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 12:30, 23 June 2020
Thursday, 18 June 17:35, 18 June 2020
Wednesday, 17 June 10:45, 17 June 2020
Tuesday, 2 June 12:20, 2 June 2020
Friday, 29 May 09:25, 29 May 2020
Monday, 25 May 14:00, 25 May 2020
Thursday, 21 May 12:00, 21 May 2020
Wednesday, 6 May 10:00, 6 May 2020
Tuesday, 5 May 17:05, 5 May 2020
Thursday, 30 April 17:10, 30 April 2020
Tuesday, 28 April 10:30, 28 April 2020
Friday, 24 April 09:35, 24 April 2020
Thursday, 23 April 17:00, 23 April 2020
Wednesday, 22 April 14:25, 22 April 2020
Monday, 20 April 17:45, 20 April 2020
Friday, 17 April 12:30, 17 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 09:45, 16 April 2020
Tuesday, 14 April 11:30, 14 April 2020
Thursday, 9 April 09:00, 9 April 2020
Wednesday, 8 April 15:40, 8 April 2020
Wednesday, 1 April 15:50, 1 April 2020
Friday, 27 March 11:40, 27 March 2020
Thursday, 26 March 18:30, 26 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 15:40, 24 March 2020
Monday, 23 March 15:40, 23 March 2020
Friday, 20 March 16:00, 20 March 2020
Thursday, 19 March 09:15, 19 March 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 16:00, 18 March 2020
Tuesday, 17 March 12:50, 17 March 2020
Monday, 16 March 17:15, 16 March 2020

Campus communications


Online staff assembly and other updates 15:09, 30 September 2020
Fee adjustments and other updates 15:21, 16 September 2020
Call for proposals: TLC2020 10:15, 26 August 2020
SAULM survey and other updates 15:30, 5 August 2020
COVID-19 cases and other updates 15:26, 5 August 2020
New UCT Council and other updates 15:12, 15 July 2020
Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020

Resources

Video messages from the Department of Medicine

Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19

The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.


To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.

Useful information from UCT

External resources


News and opinions


Statements and media releases


Media releases



Read more  

Statements from Government



 
 

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.

 

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