Staff at 32 Western Cape schools have Covid-19, says education MEC

29 May 2020 - 18:40 By TimesLIVE
Thirty-two schools in the Western Cape have staff with Covid-19, education MEC Debbie Schäfer said on May 29 2020.
Thirty-two schools in the Western Cape have staff with Covid-19, education MEC Debbie Schäfer said on May 29 2020.
Image: 123rf/arrowsmith2

Thirty-seven staff at 32 schools in the Western Cape have tested positive for Covid-19, education MEC Debbie Schäfer said on Friday.

The Metro East and Metro South districts in Cape Town are worst affected, and two rural districts — Eden and Central Karoo, and Overberg — have no cases.

Schäfer said there was no suggestion that staff had contracted the virus at school, and “in many of the cases, the staff member has not even returned to school since schools reopened as they fell ill before returning”.

She said affected schools would not be identified by the education department.

“While we understand that the public is entitled to be informed of developments in the province, we also have a duty to ensure that information given does not compromise the confidentiality of our staff or learners, and that individual schools are not stigmatised,” said Schäfer.

“Our staff is under enough stress without their individual schools being named in the media, which will also lead to further enquiries and added pressure.

“In addition, simply giving figures in the absence of any context or relevant factual information is not helpful and could further aggravate the anxiety. Each case will have unique facts associated with it, which the schools will manage.

“Parents and staff at a school have the right to know about any case at their particular school, and thus schools are expected to keep staff and parents informed of the developments related to Covid-19, and the steps that have been taken to ensure their safety.”


X