Update 61: Adjusted level 3 implications
Implications of adjusted Level 3 regulations for staff and students.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 28 December 2020 that South Africa would move to adjusted COVID-19 level 3 restrictions from 29 December 2020 until 15 January 2021. The implications for staff members and students during this period are outlined below.
Supplementary and Deferred Assessments in January 2021
The majority of assessments including the supplementary and deferred assessments which are scheduled for January 2021 will be conducted remotely and online as far as possible. There are some exceptions where in-person assessments will continue with the appropriate COVID-19 protocols in place. Students should please check the examinations website and their student emails to determine if there are any changes to the format of their assessments. Readmission applications will be processed as they are submitted online.
Students who are completing the 2020 academic year or who are scheduled to write supplementary or deferred assessments may be allowed to stay in residences until their examinations are completed. Given that the majority of these examinations are online, a limited number of applications will be considered from those who may need to return to residences in January in order to complete the 2020 academic year, in line with the relevant ministerial directives and COVID-19 protocols.
Wits residence students who wish to return in January must apply for permission from their respective cluster managers and must provide proof of the examinations that need to be written in January 2021. Students in private, accredited off-campus accommodation are encouraged to make appropriate arrangements with these establishments.
Limited catering services (take-away meals) will be available in line with students’ meal plans. Students in need of food support are encouraged to make appropriate arrangements with the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach unit.
The 2021 academic year will commence on 8 March 2021. Information on registration dates can be accessed via this link: https://www.wits.ac.za/registration/registration-dates/.
Implications for staff
The University reopens on 4 January 2021 and line managers (in consultation with relevant SET members) are requested to ensure that all offices are operational and adhere to Wits’ COVID-19 rules and protocols.
- Employees are allowed to work from home if they are able to perform their duties remotely, with the permission of their line managers.
- Those employees who are unable to work productively from home may be required to report to work if requested to do so by their line managers.
- Workers whose services are required on campus for operational reasons are also required to report to work if requested to do so by their line managers. These employees may work on a rotational system as determined by their line managers, in line with national directives and University protocols.
- Staff members who are over the age of 60 and who feel that they may be at risk, employees who may be living with co-morbidities, and expectant mothers who may be at risk should work productively from home during this time. Healthy employees over the age of 60 who do not have co-morbidities and who are not at high risk of infection are allowed to return to the workplace at their own risk.
Risk assessment and mitigation plans
All managers are required to update their risk assessment and mitigations plans and to ensure that the necessary measures are implemented timeously so as to minimise risk. A copy of the risk assessment must be forwarded to the entity’s assigned OHS&E Officer for reference and record purposes. The assigned OHS&E Officer will conduct ad-hoc inspections to check whether risk mitigation measures and health and safety protocols are in place, and will advise managers accordingly.
Permits will not be required but access to campuses and facilities will be limited. Security officers will manage pedestrian traffic, disband gatherings, and/or deactivate access cards if required.
Let’s keep safe
The best way to keep our community safe is to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, and to avoid crowded, indoor spaces. It is compulsory for every person to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times, in line with the adjusted level 3 regulations.