I think I've had a 'close contact' with COVID-19, how do I know?A number of factors can influence a person’s risk of exposure to COVID-19, including the type, proximity, and duration of their exposure, environmental factors (such as crowding and ventilation), vaccination status, prior COVID-19 infection and mask use.
A close contact is defined as a person having had face-to-face contact (both persons not wearing any mask and less than 1 metre apart) or having been in a closed space (a space with no ventilation) with a confirmed COVID-19 case for at least 15 minutes. This contact would have happened while the person with COVID-19 was still “infectious”, i.e. from 2 days before displaying symptoms.
Correct and consistent mask use is a critical step that should be taken to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, and don’t forget to always wash your hands and sanitise.
I have symptoms, what should I do?Not all clinical symptoms are necessarily indicative of COVID-19 infection. However, if you are concerned about any symptom, then please contact the national call centre for COVID-19 information (DOH Public Hotline number 0800 029 999, Western Cape Hotline 021 928 4102 or NICD Hotline 082 883 9920). Alternately, please contact your Healthcare provider either telephonically or via email for further advice and direction. Do not go to a medical facility without first calling ahead to get advice, unless it is an emergency situation.
I have tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is required to report regularly to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and stakeholders, on the Integrated COVID-19 Implementation Plan, as well as cases of infection among staff and students.
To do this, the University has developed a template to collect information on positive cases of infection among students and staff CLICK HERE for COVID-19 template). Staff and students are required to complete the form, sign it, and send it via email to a dedicated COVID-19 email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Statistics will be collected and collated by the Registrar who will submit it to DHET every fortnight. Information provided will be treated with strict confidentiality.
Queries related to COVID-19 can be directed to the Contact Centre on 021 959 3900 or 021 959 2911 (switchboard).
UWC STAFF ... TAKE NOTE
1. Why are staff over 60 years old still working?Any person who is considered to be at an increased risk of developing more complicated signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 infection are advised to remain in self isolation until it is deemed safe to return to normal activities – work included. It is now known that advanced age is a risk factor, and more especially if the person has any other chronic, coexisting medical conditions. Such persons must not present themselves to their normal work environment, but should endeavour to work from home as far as is possible. If you are between the age of 60 and 65 and have no other coexisting medical or risk factors and are in generally good health, then you can resume work after being advised to do so by a healthcare practitioner.
3. Why are staff with chronic diseases still working?No person with a recognised and properly diagnosed chronic medical condition should be allowed to commence work in an environment that may facilitate them getting the COVID-19 infection. Any person who is considered to be at an increased risk of developing more complicated signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 infection are advised to remain in self-isolation until it is deemed safe to return to normal activities – work included. Such persons must not present themselves to their normal work environment, but should endeavour to work from home as far as is possible.
4. When will campus open?33% occupancy on campus is currently permitted under Level 2 lockdown and as per the Minister’s directives. Students and staff who have been identified according to various criteria will be permitted to return, under strict conditions. They will be notified personally.
5. Process when staff enters?Information on the protocols to follow will be sent to those persons who will be allowed back on campus. The national regulations apply as well, and these are published on the University’s website, under the COVID-19 webpage.
6. When will buildings be sanitised?All buildings were sanitised and was concluded on 11 June 2020. A cleaning protocol as defined in the Return to work guidelines by the department of Employment and labour (COVID-19_C19) will be followed.
7. Will staff receive PPE?Yes, all students and staff will be provided with PPE – This will be handled by Risk and Compliance and will be issued on the first day of your return. A process on PPE distribution will be issued and communicated shortly. It will be expected from staff and students to complete the PPE Register. (See PPE communication)
8. Process when staff gets sick while on duty?Any staff / person who develops symptoms whilst on duty or on Campus must report this to his/her line manager or Reslife Coordinator. Please isolate yourself as best you can and call the UWC call centre (number) or the UWC Paramedic Services for further advice and instructions (number). You can also call the UWC Campus Health & Wellness Centre for further direction (021 959 2876/5). Do not move around Campus or your office space and do not interact with any other person unless instructed to do so.
9. Special allowances for COVID-19?No special COVID-19 allowances are being considered as staff have been and will continue to be paid their salaries during the lockdown period.
10. Will UWC transport staff to hospitals?Depending on the circumstances; UWC shall make use of the Ambulance Service contracted to transport any medical emergencies to a medical facility.
11. When staff are found having high temperature?Staff will be screened at the entrance to campus, and if their temperature is above normal they will be advised to return home and consult with their medical practitioners
12. Will personal details of staff be shared?No personal information of staff will be shared unless these are requested by mandated offices and with permission from individuals
13. Are there any isolation/quarantine areas on campus?Students returning to residences as per the directives of University will return to their single rooms. In the event that a student has to isolate it will happen in the confines of their room. There is no facility for staff on campus to self-isolate. The quarantine area is earmarked for students on residences.
The Western Cape Government has also provided quarantine facilities for people whose living conditions at home are not conducive - Western Cape Hotline 021 928 4102
LEVEL 2 RETURN
1. Will there be face-to-face lectures in Level 2?No, the university will not be engaging in any face-to-face teaching for this year. All learning will be online.
2. Are first years required to return to campus in Level 2?No, only students that receive permit letters and are requested to return either for lab work, clinicals, practical placement and experiential learning/workplace-based learning to complete the academic year (provided the workplaces and platforms are open and prepared).
3. Which students will return to campus during Level 2?All students that receive a permit letter from the University will return to campus. Once again it will only be students who need to do lab work, clinicals, practical placement and experiential learning/workplace-based learning to complete the academic year (provided the workplaces and platforms are open and prepared).
4. Which students will return to residence during Level 2?Only students that received permit letters from the University can return. Only students who need to do lab work, clinicals, practical placement and experiential learning/workplace-based learning to complete the academic year (provided the workplaces and platforms are open and prepared).
I NEED DATA!
1. Who do I contact if I want to commute daily and work on campus due to not having data and a conducive home environment or any other queries relating to campus return?You will need to contact your faculty.
Arts & Humanities: Dr Sue Mcwatts - email@example.com
EMS: Hazel Thomas - firstname.lastname@example.org
Education: Villeen Beerwinkel - email@example.com
CHS: Marquard Simpson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Law: Dr Conrad Potberg - email@example.com
Dentistry: Prof. Vivienne Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural Sciences: Undergrad students - email@example.com
Natural Sciences: Postgraduate students must contact their supervisor or Head of Department
2. Would I still be receiving data for online learning.If you are on the list to receive data then you will receive data. Data is uploaded around the 13th or 14th of each month. Data is for 30 days. Please note that data is not given to students on the first of each month. For any data or device queries please email your query to: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. I missed the closing date for applying for data and/or a device. Can I get another opportunity to apply?You can send your request to email@example.com
4. I am in residence now - do I still get data?You will make use of campus resources. There is no need for a data bundle.
5. I have changed provider. What is the process for ensuring that this is communicated and addressed?You will need to send your new details to firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Can I return to my residence if I do not have resources to engage in online learning?Yes, only if you have notified your faculty with this request and your request has been approved, and providing the 33% return to campus and residence under Level 2 has not been reached. Once these requirements are met, then you will receive a permit letter from the University, and you may return to your residence with your permit letter. Please note: this only applies to students within the provinces in South Africa.
7. Can I travel to campus daily to work in a conducive environment as I do not have data or internet connection at home?Yes, you will first need to notify your faculty via email that you do not have data or Wi-Fi access at home and would like to commute daily to campus to make use of university resources. If your request is approved by the faculty and we are within the 33% return levels, then you will receive a permit letter from the institution to commute daily to campus.
8. I am an international student presently out of South Africa. Can I return to campus and/or residence?No. All international students needing to cross borders will not be allowed to return to university or residence under lockdown Level 2.
9. Am I required to return to campus in order to complete the practical components of my modules in the 2020 academic year? (In other words can I refuse to return to campus, and if so what is the consequence?)Please note if there is a compulsory practical component to a module and a student does not return to complete it then that has to be treated like an absenteeism. In some modules this will mean needing to repeat the module in 2021.
For more information about Coronavirus COVID-19 Alert level 2 regulations, visit www.gov.za/coronavirus/alert-level-2