Pro-active approach to preventing rapid spread of COVID-19


As the safety of staff and students comes first, the University has taken the precautionary decision to quarantine members of its Port Elizabeth-based Protection Services team.

These critical service staff members went on special leave late last week so that they can quarantine at home for their own safety and that of others for up to 14 days.

This pro-active decision followed the positive testing of four critical services staff members between 31 May and 3 June, and the immediate quarantine of their work contacts. Rather than await the outcome of additional test results, the University opted to pro-actively implement its cluster management strategy in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on its Port Elizabeth campuses.

This approach is in line with managing pandemic “hot spots” such as Nelson Mandela Bay, and the wider Eastern Cape. 

University Cases
As at today (8 June), the University can confirm that 11 critical staff members have now tested positive for COVID-19. Each of these staff members is either isolating at home or at a special site in the metro for those who are not able to isolate at home. The first University patient, who was initially hospitalised, is now recovering at home, while a second is still in hospital.

Decontamination of work areas has been completed and the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Office has communicated all the relevant measures with the Department of Labour (DOL).

National Figures

Nationally, South Africa has recorded 998 deaths, including more than 100 deaths in the Eastern Cape, of which 35 were recorded as being from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. The province is now second only to the hard-hit Western Cape, having surpassed Gauteng in both the number of cases and deaths.

Wellness Support
The University’s Occupation Health Services team is telephonically monitoring the wellbeing of those colleagues who have tested positive for the virus, as well as those who have been quarantined as they may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

These staff members who continued to work when Lockdown began on 27 March are now on paid special leave.

We wish them well as they recover or monitor themselves at this time.

A relief team will be supporting the Protection Services’ management team on the Port Elizabeth campuses during this time.

HR and Protection Services Workstreams
Coronavirus Task Team