The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has dispatched a rapid response team to Girls College after a student tested positive for Covid-19 following a Leavers Dinner Dance for its Upper Six learners on November 19.
The private school sent out a statement Tuesday to parents and guardians announcing that the school had recorded positive a Covid-19 case.
“We cannot be sure whether this person contracted the virus before or after the dance,” said the school that maintains its event was “held in a large open venue and numbers for both guests and staff working at the event were kept below 100.”
In an interview with CITE, Director of Health Services, Dr Edwin Sibanda, confirmed a student had tested positive and contact tracing had to start immediately.
Dr Sibanda added the rapid response team would have to investigate more about the legality of that dinner dance.
“We have to know if the dance was cleared and how many people attended it. We need to know who cleared the dance and if it were the police, what they said in clearing it. This is the information we have to gather before we declare whether the dinner dance was an illegality or not. Yesterday (Tuesday evening) the post-cabinet briefings also touched on gatherings that are legal and illegal.”
Meanwhile, Girls College said as a precaution, it had written and recommended that all Upper Six students and their partners who attended the dance, including staff plus those who worked on the day stay at home and quarantine.
“They must also alert those that they have been in close contact with recently. As far as the school is concerned we are hopeful that the virus has been contained within the Upper Six group as they had for the most part finished their exams and left the school and hostels some time before the dance,” read the school’s statement.
The private school highlighted it continued to take all necessary precautions to make sure its staff and students were safe, with “daily monitoring of temperatures, regular sanitising of all surfaces mask wearing and social distancing.”
“As the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Bulawayo is on the increase, we once again remind parents not to send their daughters to school if they are unwell or have a temperature. We continue to offer lessons and exams online to any students who feel they are at risk or may have been in contact with someone who is infected,” said Girls College.
A number of schools in the country have recorded Covid-19 cases, the hardest hit being John Tallach in Ntabazinduna which has so far recorded 184 positive cases.
Matopo High School in Matabeleland South was sealed off after 10 pupils tested positive for Covid-19.
Covid-19 cases have also been reported at Emakhandeni Primary School and Maranatha Adventist High School in Bulawayo and Chinhoyi High School in Mashonaland West.
Officials also revealed that three people including two health workers working at a school clinic at George Silundika High in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North were isolated after testing positive for the virus.
Due to this worrying trend calls have heightened to close schools to curb the spread of the virus.