thinking beyond

Communique to CUT community: First case of COVID-19

Dear CUT Community

We have received confirmation that a CUT Bloemfontein campus staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 (the coronavirus). We wish our colleague all of the best for the self-isolation period, and a speedy, full recovery. We care about you as CUT family, and you are in our thoughts and prayers.

This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at our institution. The staff member is currently in self-isolation and is being treated under the supervision of the Free State Provincial Department of Health. This department has already commenced with contact tracing to identify the people who were in close contact with the person, and they will also be in self-quarantine at their respective homes or places of residence. We have closed the affected building for cleaning according to the prescribed protocol. Exposure of all other staff members and students currently at the university is deemed to be of a low risk. The university has taken all the necessary precautions to ensure that our facilities are sanitised and safe.

We are finding ourselves in a rapidly changing and extremely challenging environment, and we fully understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating ambiguity, trepidation, and concern on a personal and an institutional level. Be assured that the university is dedicated to ensuring a safe environment within our means for staff and students currently on our campuses.

As the CUT community, we are committed to work together in solidarity and unity to restrain the spread of the virus. The university is continuously enhancing and updating our Business Continuity Planning (BCP) to ensure that we have sufficient strategies in place to tackle the threat and risks we face. The Management Committee (Mancom) and the CUT Incident Management Task team (CUT-IMTT) on COVID-19, in collaboration with the University Council, organised labour and the Students’ Representative Councils, engage in regular discussions about the latest developments. The CUT community will be updated on the decisions going forward. Furthermore, Management is working closely with the Free State Provincial Government through PROVJOC to deal with the pandemic and challenges that may impact the higher education sector in the province.

Please continue to take care of your general well-being. Consult the CUT Information hub on coronavirus: https://www.cut.ac.za/coronavirus for health protocols and guidelines to help you protect yourself, your family and loved ones, friends, and fellow colleagues and students. Furthermore, please practice all health and safety precautions by following the recommendations set out by national authorities and the World Health Organization, and the regulations implemented on both campuses.

The health and well-being of our staff and students are our highest priority at CUT. We remain confident that our ongoing measures to practice social distancing, and adhering to the health and safety protocols are the “best medicine” at this stage of the pandemic to contain the spread of the virus. As the CUT Team, in collaboration with our fellow South Africans and our international community, we will overcome this crisis.

May you all be blessed! E se e ka Ramasedi a ka le hlohonolofatsa! Mag julle almal geseënd wees!

Prof. Henk de Jager
Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Download the VC communique, English 25 June 2020 (PDF)

Download the VC communique, Sesotho 25 June 2020 (PDF)

Download the VC communique, Afrikaans 25 June 2020 (PDF)

Uploaded: 26 June 2020
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