Nelson Mandela University COVID-19 Latest Updates

By Safe Campus Coordinating Team 

The present rise in COVID-19 transmissions nationally and on Nelson Mandela University Gqeberha campuses (see statistics below) was anticipated given the recent opening up of restrictions, as we learn to co-exist with coronavirus by continuing to practise all basic preventative measures.

Our approach to the virus going forward is that it forms part of our overall commitment to individual and collective wellbeing of all staff and students.

Keep masks on indoors

This means keeping your masks on indoors, particularly in communal spaces like lecture venues, offices and ablution facilities. Please keep all interior spaces ventilated by leaving doors and windows open.

Vaccination

In addition, you are strongly urged to get vaccinated. Vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way of preventing serious illness and hospitalisation if you contract the virus.

You can take advantage of this opportunity to be vaccinated at any of the University’s campus clinics in Gqeberha or George if you are a student, or at the COVID-19 Vaccination Centre on North Campus  or the George Campus clinic as a staff member.

This includes the need for booster shots.

Consider taking your lead from the University’s own Council members who are running a social media campaign urging staff and students to vaccinate READ MORE

Rapid testing

Both Student Health Services and Occupational Health Services are offering students and staff the opportunity to take a rapid antigen test if you have symptoms.

Please do not hesitate to take the test with them or elsewhere if you are feeling unwell. If you do test positive you can immediately isolate from others for seven days, which will help to stop the spread of the virus.

Clinic staff will advise you on the steps to follow.

Reporting your status

As part of efforts to manage the virus nationally and by employees, all positive cases must be reported to either Student Health or Occupational Health.

Coronavirus is a notifiable communicable disease so you are legally obliged to inform your employer (occupationalhealth@mandela.ac.za) or, in the case of students, Student Health Services (maria.luthaga@mandela.ac.za).

This information is for reporting purposes only and is kept strictly confidential.

Self-screening

As screening no longer takes place at the entrances to campus, you are encouraged to use the self-screening tool to monitor your own wellbeing.

https://webapps.mandela.ac.za/screening

Statistics

As in the country with 8 351 of cases as at Friday, 13 May, there has been an increase in cases in Gqeberha to 2315. At the University, 25 new student cases have been reported this month. There have been 42 staff cases this year, many of which were reported this month.

It is also believed that caseloads are underreported because many people are not testing. Many individuals are asymptomatic (showing no signs of ill health), only discovering that they have COVID-19 because of compulsory PCR testing to meet specific travel or hospital requirements.

Acknowledgement

We acknowledgment your frustrations and disappointments considering that we have all been grappling with coronavirus for more than two years. In addition, we face daily power outages because of loadshedding and now Nelson Mandela Bay and the institution face the very real likelihood of life without running tap water in the near future (early June).

While this is our present harsh reality, we believe that with your understanding and support we can navigate these challenges. We have overcome such crises in the past, and are confident we can do it again to enable our students to complete the 2022 Academic Year.

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