Someone at my child’s school has tested positive for Covid-19: What should I do next?

A pupil sanitises her hands before entering the school premises at the CR Swart High School in Pretoria on June 8, 2020. - Grade 7 and grade 12 pupils in South Africa began returning to classrooms on June 8, 2020 after two and a half months of home-schooling to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Christiaan KOTZE / AFP)

Gauteng has closed more than 50 schools since reopening on 1 and 8 June.

As schools have re-opened and some grades come back to school to a new normal, parents and kids are also facing new situations – that of Covid-19 cases being discovered in their children’s schools and figuring out what to do next in the situation.

Pearl Nyathi, mom to a Grade 3 learner at a Joburg school which recently discovered two cases of Covid-19: “There is no explaining what it feels like to receive the communication from your child’s school saying there is a Covid-19 case or cases. It brings the reality of the fact that this enemy is real and it is growing.

“The question I keep asking myself is how do we navigate this new normal. It feels so heavy.’

Here are the questions to ask and things to do:

Ask questions if there is anything you are unsure of

Once a case is discovered, you should as parents and the school community receive communications from the principal or other members of the school leadership. Read this carefully and reply with any questions you may have.

Ensure that the school has contacted the department of education

Check if your child’s school has contacted the department to alert them about the case discovered. It will later help to give a view of the country on the state of Covid-19 in our schools.

Also Read: A school hostel in Bloemfontein shuts down after a pupil tests positive for Covid-19

Check with the school that they are intending to close and contact trace

Once a case is discovered the safest action is to close the school and also contract trace. Check with your child’s school whether this has been done.

Also Read: Over 1,500 pupils test positive for Covid-19 since schools reopened in the Western Cape

Deep cleaning of the school

Once the school is closed, as per Covid-19 hygiene requirements, it must be deep cleaned. Ensure that this is done.

Monitor your child

Stay home and keep an even closer watch on your child or others in your household for Covid-19 symptoms.

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