SPU at Alert Level 3

The Northern Cape Province is in the midst of a surge of COVID-19 infections which has had a significant impact on Sol Plaatje University.

We have recorded thirteen positive cases for the period 3 to 16 May 2021, which led to the closure of the Luka Jantjie House for six days to allow for deep cleaning of the building. Approximately thirty other staff members, who were close contacts, are in quarantine at home and two students are in the University isolation facility. We are therefore putting in place additional measures to ensure the effective control of the spread of the virus.

Effective immediately, we are adopting an SPU-specific Alert Level System. The SPU Alert Level will be higher than the National Alert Level and will determine the control measures around workplace, academic and social activities that will be adopted by the University.

The country is currently at Alert Level 1, but the University will be placed at Alert Level 3 from today, 17 May 2021 until 31 May 2021. We will assess the situation at the end of this month.

The control measures that will be enforced include:

  1. Employees above the age of 60 and those with comorbidities are permitted to work from home.
  2. The adoption of rotational work to allow for social distancing and spacing in facilities.
  3. New employees will be required to quarantine for a period of 10 days.
  4. All external participation meetings and social engagements are prohibited; virtual meetings are to be adopted where possible.
  5. Internal meetings of more than five people are prohibited; social distancing is to be observed where face-to-face meetings are required.
  6. A temporary suspension of face-to-face activities/use of laboratory and technology workshops.
  7. The suspension of all sporting and recreational activities until further notice.
  8. Central Campus open areas will be restricted by access control systems and barriers to control public access and to enforce screening.
  9. The return of students, scheduled for 21 May 2021, is suspended until further notice.
  10. Students in university managed residences will not be allowed to go home for recess.
  11. Those students who need to go home must seek approval before leaving campus for the recess period. Those who choose to go home will not be allowed back on campus until invited to do so by the University.
  12. A University curfew will be in effect from 22:00 to 07:00.

Detailed communication will be sent out to students from the Student Affairs Department later this week and staff will receive further details from their line managers about the rotational work arrangements.

We have become complacent in recent months about health and safety measures around the containment of COVID-19 so I hope that each of you will be more vigilant and work with us to curb the spread of the virus on campus and within our wider communities.

Remember to:

  • Frequently sanitize or wash your hands
  • Wear a mask
  • Keep a minimum distance of 1,5m from other people

If you are ill, please seek medical assistance. If you have been exposed to someone who is infected, quarantine immediately. If you are infected, self-isolate for at least 10 days.

If we work together, we will overcome these difficulties and challenges.

 

Kind regards

Professor Andrew M Crouch

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

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