The Department of Basic Education has released guidelines for schools and childcare facilities on COVID-19 as infections and deaths continue to rise worldwide.
COVID-19, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization this week, has already claimed 17 confirmed infections in South Africa.
School administrators can take steps to help stop or slow the spread of respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19:
– Make sure that everyone in the school has up to date information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (link to NICD, www.nicd.ac.za, guidance on hand washing, etc)
– Monitor and plan for absenteeism
– Review attendance and sick leave policies. Encourage learners and staff to stay home when sick. Use flexibility, when possible, to allow staff to stay home to care for sick family members.
– Discourage the use of perfect attendance awards and incentives as these may encourage people to come to school sick.
– Establish procedures to follow when learners and staff become sick at school or arrive at school sick, as they should be sent home as soon as possible.
– Keep sick learners and staff separate from well learners and staff until they can leave.
School administrators can also support their school community by sharing resources with staff, families and, age-appropriately, with learners.
Consider sharing the following fact sheets and information sources found on the NICD website www.nicd.ac.za and the DBE website www.education.gov.za such as the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on COVID-19.
Department of Basic Education Director-General Mathanzima Mweli said schools can play an important role in efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.