Covid cases rise in Tygerberg district

The University of Western Cape

There’ been a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Tygerberg, with several students testing positive at a University of Western Cape residence.

The provincial Department of Health says cases in its northern/Tygerberg district climbed by 76 in the past 11 days, and now total 625.

The department said people should not let down their guard but continue to wear masks, sanitise their hands and practise physical distancing.

Shimoney Regter, a spokesperson for the department, said: “Students at a student residence at the University of Western Cape (UWC) have tested positive, resulting in an increase in positive cases. The outbreak response teams have been activated and have commenced contact tracing and screening activities to contain further spread.”

UWC spokesman Gasant Abarder said cases had been confirmed at the university’s Coline Williams Residence.

“We have successfully concluded the screening and testing for Covid-19 for all Coline Williams Residence students via the Department of Health. Those found positive are recovering at a facility off campus while the residence has been thoroughly decontaminated.”

Ms Regter added that indoor social gatherings with poor ventilation where social distancing could not be ensured could be the cause of the increase.

“The way we behave and socialise over the coming weeks will be crucial in the fight against a second wave. As we head into the festive season, many workplaces will be having their annual year-end function. These have been identified as a risk to be ’Covid-19 superspreader events’ and individuals are encouraged to rather do it virtually. The department appeals to each and every business and individual to reconsider hosting these events.”

If an event cannot be avoided or done virtually, the department recommends having it outside; ensuring the venue is suitable for physical distancing and is well ventilated; avoiding queues and close contact; wearing masks whenever possible (including when you have finished eating); sitting near a window; ensuring an attendance register is filled in by all guests; and staying home if sick.