UFH COVID-19 READINESS Update : Week 13-17 July 2020

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  • The first 33% cohort of staff who meet Covid-19 health criteria returned to their work stations on 8 July.
  • The SRC has been on campus since the beginning of July.
  •  The first group of students returned to the Alice campus yesterday, 13 July.
  • At the time of compiling this report, none of the identified students had returned to their allocated rooms on the EL campus.



The  following groups have been issued with permits and  are expected to return to campus this week (13– 17 July):

  • Students with disabilities
  • Science and  Agriculture  PhD,  Masters and Honours students
  • BCurr 4th year students



  • Staff are back at work. Certificates for the May 2020 graduates are being processed and are expected to be ready next week,  22 July.  An announcement with details of how students can receive their certificates and transcripts will be issued later this week.



  • As at 14 July, UFH has recorded  23  staff infections with 15 active cases.  An announcement in this regard will be issued later today.
  • A possible case of a local transmission in one of the university’s leased residences in East London (Sixth on Station) has been reported.   A group comprising  7 security and cleaning personnel has been affected, however, none of the staff are UFH employees.



  • PPEs for Staff: Everything is on track.  Distribution of masks and sanitisers to returning staff across all campuses took place on 8July
  • Daily Screening: Everyday staff go through a very strict, multi-layered health and safety protocol .  This is administered by security personnel at every building across all campuses.




  • Residence Officials: Staff are back on campus to receive and process students
  • Returning Students:  The first group arrived in Alice yesterday, 13 July. More will arrive every day until Friday 17th July
  • Quarantine Protocol:  Each student will quarantine in their room for 14 days and follow daily health checks.  Security personnel will be deployed in residences to monitor movement.
  • Alice Clinic: has been relocated to  a bigger facility - Elitheni Residence
  • Code of Conduct: In line with Covid-19 Precautionary Measures,  a protocol to regulate the conduct of students on campus and in residences has been developed.


 MULTI-MODAL REMOTE TEACHING AND LEARNING: University Recovery and Assessment Plan


  • DHET  has approved the COVID-19 Responsiveness Grant to support the implementation of the University’s Multi-modal Teaching and Learning plan. This grant comes from repurposed funds with reprioritisation and redirection of money from other University grants and projects. These funds will enable the university to reach more students through additional online and offline means.


  •  Faculty recovery and assessment plans have been submitted and are now in the process of being consolidated into a University recovery and assessment plan which will be approved in the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee later this week.


  • June statistics suggest 8560 active and unique student users of Blackboard, with a monthly average of 15838 students, and 11501 average course views. The number of active users is expected to increase by end July due to the availability of the MTN zero-rated data, and the arrival of the first batch of laptops.


  • By end June 2020, the Virtual Supplemental Instruction support through WhatsApp conducted 100 sessions with 2926 participants. These numbers are expected to grow as more resources become available to reach out quicker and easier to students in remote and far-flung areas.



  • Student Laptops:  All indications are that the university is on track to receive the first batch of laptops by 31 July 2020 and the remainder within 7-10 days (by mid-August).  An announcement detailing how the gadgets will be issued to students will be made in the coming days.
  • Student Data:  All network providers, including MTN,  have been loading data to students who have updated their records on the system. Those who are still struggling to update their records are encouraged to seek guidance from the SRC.




  • Covid-19 Updates:  Ongoing -  via internal  notices, UFH website (dedicated webpage), all official social media platforms and internal newsletter (This Week @FortHare)
  • Posters and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs):  Posters are being displayed at strategic spots across all three campuses (EL, Bhisho, Alice).