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Over 500 WC school staff members & 100 learners test positive for COVID-19

These numbers continue to grow week by week while calls by teachers, governing bodies, unions and parents for schools to remain closed are also escalating.

Classroom. Picture: Pixabay.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - More than 500 staff members and over 100 learners at schools across the Western Cape have tested positive for COVID-19.

These numbers continue to grow week by week while calls by teachers, governing bodies, unions and parents for schools to remain closed are also escalating.

Learners in several grades are expected to return to the classroom next Monday.

Since learners in grades 7 and 12 returned to Western Cape schools on 1 June, 134 of them tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Western Cape Education Department's latest reports received this past Friday, 557 school staff members have contracted the coronavirus.

This number includes educators and non-teaching staff.

Education MEC Spokesperson Kerry Mauchline said: “As community levels of infections rise, we must expect cases reported at schools to also rise.”

A number of pickets have been planned for the week ahead as concerned teachers and parents across the Cape call for schools to be closed at least until the COVID-19 peak has passed.

Learners in pre-grade R and grade R, grades 1 to 3, grade 6 and grades 10 as well as 11 are due to return to class next Monday, 6 July.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Education Department urged all schools to adhere to COVID-19 protocols as more grades were expected to return to the classroom.

The department said plans to resume the academic year would be managed by a recovery plan, which would vary in different schools.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said: “Each and every school will then have a unique recovery plan depending on the number of learners that they must interact with. Some schools have a low population, while some have a high population.”

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