Steps to follow if you suspect you have contracted COVID-19


As the country prepares for the next step in its phased return to work from 1 June, so Nelson Mandela University is readying itself for new ways of working, teaching, living and being without compromising the safety and wellbeing of its staff and students.

To this end, the University is implementing a series of interventions to safeguard staff and students through the training and practice of COVID-19 prevention measures, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and in ongoing awareness efforts.

Each day, upon arriving at work or to study, you will undergo screening. This particular process will be shared in detail in future communication.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake self-screening at the workstation / mobile screening to monitor your own wellness throughout the day.

Self-surveillance / Self-screening

In the interim, you are encouraged to use the following guidelines from the Department of Health to assess yourself for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or go to the coronavirus website to use the self-assessment surveillance tool

To access: Download using the URL:

Add to WhatsApp contacts: 0600 11 0 000

Dial USSD line *134*832*2#

As soon the ICT Services’ self-assessment solution has been completed this will be shared with the wider University community.  

Like washing and hand-sanitising your hands, keeping a two-metre physical distance from others, practising good health hygiene and wearing a mask in public, self-screening should become a routine habit.

Do you have a cough, is your throat painful, can you breathe properly?

  • Do you feel weak or have any body pains?
  • Can you smell and taste foods?
  • Do you have a fever?
  • Have you been travelling out of the Eastern Cape or gone travelling abroad?
  • Has someone you spend time with been tested positive for COVID-19?

Have you answered yes to any of the questions and feel sick?

If so, please do the following:

  • Phone your doctor or Student Health Services or Occupational Health Services.
  • Wear a mask, spray your hands with hand sanitiser and keep a distance from others.
  • Your doctor or health service provider will ask you to go for a test after they ask you a few questions.
  • They will tell you if you can be tested.

So now you have been tested, what must you do now?

  • Go home and stay away from others.
  • Do not leave your home, wait for the results.
  • Always wear your mask.
  • Wash hands thoroughly or use your hand sanitiser.
  • Cough into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Keep the place where you are sleeping or living clean.

What should I do while I am waiting for my results?

  • Self- quarantine by staying at home
  • Do not leave the home
  • Wear your mask, wash hands, sanitise
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding face to face contact of less than 1 metre
  • Monitor for symptoms

What happens if my result is negative?

  • You should self-screen for another / additional 14 days
  • Self-quarantine is no longer required
  • Stay at home and complete treatment prescribed by Healthcare provider if symptoms not COVID-19 related.

What happens if the result is positive?

  • Self-isolate by staying at home for 14 days
  • If you can, sleep in a separate bedroom or bed while you are sick
  • Do not leave your home
  • Always wear your mask
  • All those living in your home to wear a mask
  • If the mask is dirty: wash in hot water, dry it in the sun, then iron with a hot iron.
  • Wash hands thoroughly or use your hand sanitiser
  • Cough into your elbow or a tissue
  • Keep the place where you are sleeping or living clean

How long should I stay at home?

  • This will depend on whether you have symptoms
  • And if you have been tested

Who should self-quarantine?

  • Any person who:
  • has been screened by their healthcare provider
  • is regarded as a Person Under Investigation (PUI)
  • has been tested and is awaiting the results
  • has tested positive for COVID-19 and has no symptoms

Who should self-isolate?

  • Any person who is ill / has tested positive for COVID-19
  • How long depends on how ill / severe your illness is
  • If you have:
  • No symptoms: 14 days from the time of test result
  • Mild symptoms: 14 days from the time the symptoms started
  • Severe symptoms: 14 days once you no longer need oxygen

When can I come back to work or classes?

  • Asymptomatic patients:  14 days from time of positive test;
  • Mild disease: 14 days from onset of symptoms
  • Moderate to severe cases: 14 days following clinical stabalisation (no longer requiring oxygen.
  • Then contact Student Health Services or Occupational Health Services who will approve attendance/ return to campus

Additional information

For any additional information on COVID-19, please use a reliable source. The University’s coronavirus website hosts reputable information from the National Department of Health, National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the World Health Organisation. There is also a section for asking questions.

Coronavirus Task Team
HR, Occupational Health and Student Wellness