COVID-19 Update: Continuous Adjustment to Meet Needs


With the risk of a second surge of COVID-19 infections ever present, the University is continuously adapting and evolving its processes to improve levels of safety on all seven campuses.

As case numbers increase, it becomes even more critical for staff and students to also take responsibility for their own wellbeing in protecting themselves and others by practicing all coronavirus preventative measures.

Increase in Cases

There has been a recent increase in both staff and student COVID-19 cases in the last ten days, after weeks of no recorded cases. Many of these new cases were identified on campus, again signaling the need for extreme vigilance in continuing to wear masks, practice health hygiene and to remain physically distanced.

Please refer to the staff and student portals for the latest COVID-19 figures.

All staff and students who recently tested positive are either in quarantine at home or in specially designated spaces, while their contacts have been traced and are in isolation. We wish them all well.

A recent disease cluster outbreak at a sister institution following two major incidences of non-compliance should be warning enough to each of us to continue to practice all prevention measures.

#MaskUpMandela. It is in your hands!  

Where possible, as has been agreed to in principle, continue to study and work remotely. This is safer and also helps to keep numbers on campus to a minimum.   

Additional Improvements

Mindful of the many challenges as we strive to save lives, while saving the academic year, the following has been introduced:

  • The physical opening of libraries, and
  • Expanding screening responsibilities 

Libraries to Physically Open

Libraries on all campuses are set to open today under stringent new conditions and processes. See Library Memo circulated earlier today.

Again, however, you are encouraged to use the 24/7 virtual library as the preferred alternative.  Go to for details

Own Screening Practices

With increasing numbers on campus, each division will need to take greater responsibility for its own welfare. Many teams have already introduced their own screening mechanisms, over and above those performed at the entrances, to further reduce risk of infections.

Academic staff hosting practicals or examinations, for example, have temperature-screened and hand-sanitised all students and staff after completing basic training provided by the University’s health professionals. Both Occupational Health and Health Services are already being supported by an external service provider, Emergency Service Sector (ESS), to boost their capacity and reach.

For guidance and training support, contact

Challenge of an Open Campus

The need to introduce the above area or team-specific screening protocols becomes all the more important in the context of our open campus environment. Even though pedestrian entrances have been closed and areas cordoned off to guide all staff, students and visitors to the official campus entrances, some have been found to bypass the official COVID-19 screening protocols.

Ongoing efforts are underway to seek alternatives in addressing this behaviour, including new fencing options, new screening stations and the support of line managers to implement their own health and safety protocols at departmental level.

Reporting Non-Compliance

The University is aware of a number of instances of non-compliance among both staff and students. This is being addressed, as the institution can neither risk lives nor the likelihood of being closed should a cluster outbreak occur.

To report non-compliance, send an email to the Safety, Health and Environment Office on so that the necessary follow-up action can take place.

To date, one student has been suspended and several others fined for failing to comply to various aspects of the COVID-19 restrictions, while several staff members have also been cautioned.

Coronavirus Task Team

Health, Technical Services and SHE Workstreams