University COVID-19 case management, screening processes underway


COVID-19 surveillance and disease management plans were implemented in full this week as more support staff members returned to Nelson Mandela University campuses to begin preparations for an incremental return of identified staff and students, later this month.


By Wednesday, 3 June, as the country moved to slightly less restrictive Level 3 Lockdown conditions, 563 screenings had been conducted by the University’s health professionals operating from screening centers located across five campuses (North, Bird Street, Missionvale, Second Avenue and George). The Occupational Health and Student Health Services teams are also being supported by Event Support Services (ESS).


The screenings were preceded by the following efforts of line managers for returning staff members:

Case Management

Prior to 1 June and the lifting of restrictions, the health teams had screened essential and critical staff working on campus through the Lockdown period.

As at 3 June, four staff had tested positive for COVID-19 and are presently being cared for in hospital, at home in isolation, or at a special site for quarantine cases where isolation is not possible at home.

We are pleased to report that all four staff are doing well. The University is in daily contact with them.


As is also reflected in the adjacent chart, when a staff member is identified as a Person Under Investigation (PUI) due to a raised temperature and / or his or her response to a series of questions, such staff member will be immediately isolated for their own safety and the safety of others.

PUIs are then tested and must remain in isolation as they await their results.


The health teams will simultaneously begin the “work contact tracing” to identify those with whom the PUI’s have been in contact – since the virus is a highly contagious respiratory disease - so that they too can go into isolation and be tested should they show any COVID-19 symptoms.

The four staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 were found to have 36 work contacts between them. These staff members are also in self isolation and monitoring their symptoms while being contacted daily by the University’s health practitioners.

While the University is responsible for the work and transport contact tracing, the Department of Health covers all other aspects of the contact tracing as part of a collective bid to quickly prevent the further spread of the virus.

Additional PUIs

Of the 563 screenings undertaken at Mandela University since 1 June, four individuals were classified as PUIs and will undergo testing. Contact tracing is also underway.

Follow-up processes

In addition to the surveillance and disease management processes by the University’s health officials, the workstations and spaces frequented by those who tested positive were immediately decontaminated. This is in addition to the ongoing increased cleaning measures.

Furthermore, the SHE Office keeps the Department of Labour abreast of all incidents. Failure to do so can lead to closure of the campuses.


We are mindful that Nelson Mandela Bay has been identified as a hotspot because of the higher than normal prevalence of the virus in the Metro and hence our commitment to be transparent in our reporting of cases.

We are especially committed to doing all that is reasonably possible to safeguard our staff and students through ongoing education, training and conscientisation towards behavioural changes (wearing masks, practicing health, hygiene and physical distancing) to prevent the unnecessary spread of the pandemic and save lives.

Health, SHE and Wellness Workstreams
Coronavirus Task Team