The high school block of St Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein is temporarily closed following a confirmed coronavirus case.
Headmaster Christopher Thomas told parents via a virtual meeting on Zoom, that he had been informed a Grade 11 learner who hadn’t attended school since last week Friday was Covid-19 positive.
OFM News reports that Thomas revealed the learner in question had been exhibiting symptoms when his mother took him for testing. The school management tracked which classes the learner had been in during the previous weeks of school and decided to temporarily halt learning for three days so that the block can be decontaminated and cleaned.
The suspension of schooling this week affects Grades 7, 10, 11 and 12. Thomas explains how the learners will return to school next week Monday.
“The Grade 11s and 12s will return to school as planned on Monday. The Grade 10s and 7s were due to stay at home next week as part of the returning system so the grades 8 and 9 will return to school on Monday as planned as well. The senior school block will be thoroughly disinfected on Friday.”
The headmaster further said they didn’t believe any of the other learners were exposed, but were merely taking precautionary measures.
Free State education department spokesperson Howard Ndaba said they were aware of the situation at the school. He did not comment further on the matter. St Andrew’s School parents were urged to monitor their children closely. Come Monday, eight days will have passed and Thomas said this would be sufficient time for the virus to reveal itself – so to speak. He said if parents had additional concerns, they could keep their children away from school for another five days, to sit out the full 14-day incubation period.
According to the national health department’s statistics, the Free State is experiencing a rise of Covid-19 infections, with 2,487 active cases and 19 deaths.
About 528 people have recovered from the virus so far.
Bloemfontein and surrounding areas which fall under Mangaung Metro remains the epicentre in the province, no longer by a significant margin, but increases in infections continue.
This story originally appeared on the Bloemfontein Courant and has been republished with permission.