Pretoria – Uitsig High School and Wierda Park Independent School, both in Centurion, have closed for disinfecting after recording positive Covid-19 cases.

At Wierda Independent, parents were asked to keep some learners, who had possibly been in contact, at home for most of the week.

Management at Uitsig yesterday said a parent had tested positive for Covid-19, but did not inform or keep their child at home as per safety and isolation protocols.

The learner had to be sent home for isolation and a Covid-19 test.

In a letter to parents, the school said: “With our own tracking of Grade 9 and 12 learners, we saw direct links to four more Grade 9 learners and two in Grade 12. They all had Covid-19 symptoms and were sent home for tests.”

As a precautionary measure, the school infrastructure was being disinfected today. “Learners will be able to continue with Google classroom lessons and resume with normal school programme on Monday.”

The Department of Education in Gauteng said there had been a cluster outbreak at Pioneer Primary School in Benoni which resulted in the hospitalisation of the principal and deputy principal.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said there were two learners who also tested positive at the school.

He said the school closures were done on the advice of the Gauteng Department of Health.

The outbreak at Pioneer Primary School comes at the time when primary schools are preparing to resume full-time schooling at the beginning of the third term on July 28.

Mabona reiterated that the decision to have all primary schools back to full-time operation was based on the information indicating that the learners required more contact time, guidance and constant supervision from teachers.

“Further, we are constantly engaging all schools to ensure that they follow all relevant Covid-19 protocols for the safety of officials, teachers and learners,” he said.

On Wednesday evening, the Krugersdorp High School issued a letter to parents that the school would close from yesterday morning until Sunday, June 13, after nine learners tested positive for Covid-19 this week.

This comes after reports last month that the school on the West Rand was closed following 11 positive Covid-19 cases were identified.

“There are approximately 80 learners in self-isolation this week, resulting in the tracking and tracing procedure becoming very difficult,” principal Ivan Bailey wrote in the letter.

The principal said this week, four staff members tested positive and several were self-isolating. As a result, the decision was made in consultation with the Department of Health as well as the Education Department to close the high school until Sunday evening.

Bailey added that the school had to suspend the whole winter sports programme as a result of the positive cases last week.

“Once the pupils return back on Monday, we will continue to sanitise every learner arriving at school and all will be screened before the start of the school day,” the school said.

Midrand High School also sent a letter to parents on Wednesday informing them that the school would be closed until Monday, June 14, following a high number of detected Covid-19 cases. “This will allow the school to lie empty and unoccupied for more than 72 hours … On Monday, the school will be sanitised using an outside specialist service provider,” the school principal Con Purchase wrote.

The closure of schools this week comes as the Gauteng Department of Health said yesterday it was concerned by the alarming increase in cases across the province. This comes after Gauteng registered 5 111 new cases on Wednesday, accounting for over 50% of new infections in the country.

Pretoria News