COVID-19 Research Continuity Plan | UP Emergency Response Protocol | UP Residences Closure

Dear Postgraduate / Postdoctoral Fellow

The University of Pretoria (UP) has been closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. In recent days and weeks, the impact of the coronavirus has widened, and it is clear that the global pandemic affects us all. On 15 March 2020 the President of South Africa declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a national state of disaster, and introduced stringent measures to curb the spread of the virus. These and other measures will continue until end of April 2020, but may be extended in view of the current state of emergency in South Africa, and other parts of the world.  

The Executive of the University of Pretoria, acting in the best interest of its whole community, has decided to close the student accommodation residences as part of an integrated emergency plan to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  However, we will be making special arrangements for postdoctoral fellows, and residents of Future Africa who wish to remain in their accommodation will be allowed to do so.  

The University of Pretoria is committed to continuing its teaching and learning through our online systems, and  we will continue to support ongoing essential research.  Researchers will be permitted to access research facilties if this is necesssary, and we are enouraging research groups to minimise the number of people who are in research facilities at any one time. 

We are very aware that the current embargo on travel, locally and internationally, impacts on the entire community, and want to assure you that the Future Africa residences will remain open and a home to our existing community amid the mitigating measures which may be implemented going forward.

Future Africa will align its operations to the requirements of the contingency plans during the management of the crisis situation. We request that residents maintain social distancing, and work online (where appropriate). We will also continue with services at the Hub, despite other events possibly being cancelled.

We have created temporary notice boards in the Research Commons and the Reception of the Future Africa Conference Centre, and will continue to distribute information via email as new information becomes available. Please inform yourselves about the best practices as advocated by the WHO and NICD. Should you consider yourself as a vulnerable individual, please contact the relevant manager at Future Africa, or your study supervisor to request assistance.

It remains important for us all to act in the collective interest of the Future Africa community, to adhere to the necessary personal and communal hygiene practices, which the operational staff support and maintain.

We rely on your understanding and cooperation in this matter.  Please contact us if you have any queiries or concerns. 

Sincerely
Stephanie Burton