Status update


Preparing our campuses, facilities and residences for a new way of learning and living in the face of rising COVID-19 cases throughout the country, and in the Metro, has been a particularly anxious time for staff at the University.

With an initial four staff members testing positive for the virus, and many of their colleagues awaiting results, the University opted to pro-actively quarantine other Protection Services staff members for their own safety and that of others.

While a further ten staff members also tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory disease, we are pleased to report that all 14 colleagues are recovering, and that no new cases have been reported since Tuesday, 9 June.

First Recovery

One of the first patients who was immediately hospitalised in May has been given the all-clear and is now officially “recovered”, while the second staff member who was in ICU has moved to a general ward and is doing well.

The remaining 12 patients also reported doing well in their daily telephonic interaction with the University’s Occupational Health and Wellness at Work staff.

There have also been no further positive results and no other staff members have been referred for testing after screening on the University’s Port Elizabeth and George campuses over the past three days.  

In addition, those staff members who were quarantined to prevent the possible rapid transmission of the virus on the University’s campuses, will be returning to campus to resume their duties from Wednesday, 17 June, as they have not shown any COVID-19 symptoms. Each of these staff members will be debriefed, offered counselling opportunities and receive refresher COVID-19 prevention measures training.

In the past week the University conducted 729 screenings across five campuses where it has screening centres.

Going forward, to supplement the efforts of the Occupational and Student Health Services team, an  online screening tool tailored to Nelson Mandela University’s specific needs will be made available. Information on the new tool will be shared in a subsequent communication.

Notification to Identified Students

From today (Saturday, 13 June), students who have been identified to return to campus as part of the national directive under Lockdown Level 3, will receive a text message followed by a letter from their Deans notifying them of their return.

Only students who receive this official notification may return, in line with the strict restrictions and safety monitoring measures.

These students were identified after thorough engagement of a Multi-Stakeholder Returning Students Task Team, in line with specific criteria, and will be guided and supported on when and how to return over the next few weeks. Full details of this process with be shared in a subsequent Memo.

We look forward to welcoming all our students back in due course. Until then we want to encourage students who have not yet been identified to return at this stage, to continue learning remotely. Remember, there is support available if you have learning and personal challenges.

Coronavirus Task Team