Friday, 16 October

16 October 2020


The University of Cape Town (UCT) would like to inform staff and students about a recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on and around campus.

The Western Cape Department of Health has identified cluster outbreaks of COVID-19 in the southern suburbs (currently 63 cases), and at least three UCT students have tested positive for COVID-19 in these outbreaks. We have also noted several smaller cluster outbreaks.

It is therefore more important than ever that you continue safe health practices.

The World Health Organization warns us about the “Three Cs” to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in different settings:

  • avoid Crowded places
  • avoid Close-contact settings
  • avoid Confined and enclosed spaces.

The Student Wellness Service has received reports of UCT students who have returned to their residences after the curfew that has been set for lockdown Level 1. Violating the curfew without good cause does not demonstrate the kind of care we need to show one another, especially during this time.

When we invited students to return to residences, we explained that they would need to follow all the necessary health and safety protocols at UCT. Residences are places where people have a strong possibility of passing on the virus, so it is especially important for every student and staff member to follow the rules to reduce the chance of spreading infection.

If you are a student and you have any of the symptoms mentioned in the COVID-19 guidelines, please contact the Student Wellness Service immediately for healthcare support.

Although the country has moved to lockdown Level 1, staff and students are still advised and encouraged to follow three basic actions: wear a face mask, ensure safe physical distancing, and sanitise or wash hands and surfaces regularly.

Read the COO’s Desk.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.

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 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 regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.


Frequently asked questions


Commemorating a year of COVID-19

At midnight on 26 March 2020, South Africa went into the first nationwide hard lockdown. A year later, we remember those who have died and those who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as the pandemic’s effects across society and campus. We are especially grateful for the front-line health workers who have done so much for so many.

News and opinions

Campus communications



Media releases

Read more  

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.