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4 teachers at separate schools in WC test positive for COVID-19

Schools were shut for over two months but would reopen in a phased approach from Monday for pupils in grades 7 and 12.

FILE: The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said in all four cases, the teachers returned to school on Monday not knowing they had contracted the virus. Picture: 123rf.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - School management staff have been back at work for three days now. And already four teachers at separate schools in the Western Cape were infected with COVID-19.

Schools were shut for over two months but would reopen in a phased approach from Monday for pupils in grades 7 and 12.

Positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed at Hague Primary School in Delft, Parkvale Primary in Valhalla Park, Kasselsvlei in Bellville, and Wallacedene Primary School in Kraaifontein.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said in all four cases, the teachers returned to school on Monday not knowing they had contracted the virus.

The department’s spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said an affected school may or may not be closed.

“Schools have been advised on what precautions should be taken should a positive case be confirmed, including self-isolation for staff members who have had close contact with the confirmed case,” Hammond said.

As in some instances, only certain areas needed to be cleaned, while in other cases officials had to temporarily shut the school to allow for a more extensive clean of the premises.

The WCED has already delivered cleaning materials to help staff prepare for the phased reopening of schools, however, its understood some schools are yet to receive those materials and personal protective equipment (PPE).

SCHOOLS IN GAUTENG

Meanwhile, parents were anxious about sending their children back to school next week amid the COVID-19 pandemic, But Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday said he was hopeful many would cooperate with the department.

Lesufi visited Ga-Rankuwa Primary School, north of Pretoria to assess the state of readiness. The school was among those that experienced delays in the delivery of PPEs in the Tshwane district.

The MEC said PPEs for pupils and teachers would only be delivered later this week to keep them from being stolen by criminals.

“I really believe the majority of the parents will bring the children because we don’t know when this pandemic we end. If we knew it would end in September, for example, then we would sacrifice and say we will wait until September. It may go beyond 2021 or even 2022,” Lesufi said.

WATCH: Lesufi inspects readiness of Gauteng schools to reopen

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.