thinking beyond

Communique to CUT community: COVID-19 is still real

Dear CUT Community

We have been in COVID-mode for over a year, and currently run the risk of becoming complacent in our conduct. The good news is that the mortality rate is low, which means that this is a disease that most people can recover from. The bad news is that the infection rates in our province are on the rise again. To date, about 90 000 positive COVID-19 cases were recorded in the Free State.

Sadly, during the past week, a number of new positive cases amongst staff and our students at the Bloemfontein campus were recorded. Since the beginning of June 2020, the following cases were reported to the CUT Management on both campuses:

  • Employees: 72 positive cases, 66 recoveries, 3 deaths.
  • Students: 47 positive cases, 32 recoveries, 0 deaths.

According to the latest statistics, no group is exempt from risk – the average age of those who get infected in the Free State is 40 years. Although those with comorbidities should be extra careful, young and healthy individuals are also getting sick. We still have a lot to learn about this virus and the long-term effects of infection.

What we do know is that preventative measures are key to keeping the infection rates low. As most of us have adjusted to the COVID-19 circumstances, we may let our guard down. Slackening on risk reduction behaviour will have a detrimental effect, not only on your health, but also on the social and economic well-being of society. Each one of us has a duty to keep our university and country running with as little as possible disruption. Please do your part!

CUT will continue to regulate safety protocol measures on our campuses that include screening, wearing of masks, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. Please adhere to these measures on and off campus. Marshalls will be appointed effective from Monday, 10 May 2021, to assist Management in ensuring that all staff and students adhere to the health and safety protocols at all times, and to enhance our educational efforts in this regard. Visit our COVID-19 Information Hub regularly for accurate and up-to-date information, and make use of all the support systems available to you, including CUT Wellness and CareWays.

Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, or who were adversely affected by its consequences. As an university, we aspire to be a part of the solution. Currently, the situation on our campuses and country is still manageable. Let us keep it this way!

Kind regards / Ditumediso tse mofuthu / Vriendelike groete

Prof. Henk de Jager
Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Download the VC Communique, 06 May 2021 (PDF)

Uploaded: 06 May 2021
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