Stellenbosch University has its first confirmation of a staff member who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. A member of staff at the Tygerberg Campus who had recently travelled abroad is in self-isolation and is being treated under the supervision of the Provincial and National Departments of Health. We wish our colleague all the best for the self-isolation period and a full recovery.
Close contacts of the person have been identified and the relevant health authorities are in the process of contacting them. Exposure of all other colleagues and students at Tygerberg is currently deemed to be extremely low risk and Faculty Management at Tygerberg has taken all the necessary precautions to ensure that its facilities are safe. Campus-specific information will be communicated from the Dean’s office.
Stellenbosch University, like all other academic institutions in the country and worldwide, finds itself in a rapidly changing and unsettling environment. As Rectorate we understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating uncertainty, apprehension and concern on an institutional and personal level. We urge everyone to continue the practice of handwashing and other infection control measures.
I wish to assure our students and staff that the University is committed to ensuring as safe an environment as possible, with medical and other support, while we endeavour to honour our commitment to students that they will be able to complete their academic year successfully.
The Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (Read more about the ICBC) will meet again tomorrow morning where the latest developments will be discussed. The campus community will be informed of any decisions directly afterwards.
For now I would like to again refer you to the University’s COVID-19 webpage with information on the health protocols and guidelines to help you protect yourself, your family, colleagues and friends. The webpage is our primary communication channel for the COVID-19 pandemic – please visit the SU website regularly for updates. All the relevant emergency contact details are available on the page.
Please familiarise yourself again with the Protocol for staffing-related matters as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. With social distancing as an important strategy staff members are encouraged to work off campus as the nature of your duties allows.
Please take your safety and measures for your personal well-being seriously.
Prof Wim de Villiers
Rector and Vice-Chancellor