Durban pupil and family self-quarantine after link to coronavirus patient

A Maris Stella pupil and her family are in self-quarantine after the pupil sat in the same waiting room as another patient who later tested positive for Covid-19.
A Maris Stella pupil and her family are in self-quarantine after the pupil sat in the same waiting room as another patient who later tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: 123RF/Jozef Polc

Top Durban private school Maris Stella moved swiftly to allay speculation that one of its pupils had tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the principal of the Catholic school for girls, Joan Schmidt, said the school had been told that one of its pupils “may have been exposed to Covid-19".

The pupil, Schmidt said, was seen last week by her doctor who told her family that a patient who was in the waiting room at the same time as the pupil had subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

“We are grateful to the family that they communicated this information to us as soon as they received it. Although neither the pupil nor her parents are exhibiting any symptoms, the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases) has been informed and they will remain in self-quarantine until they have been cleared.”

She said school would continue as normal and they encouraged good hygiene practices to prevent virus transmission.

According to the department of health there are now 13 people in SA who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Maris Stella's statement follows a notice to parents from Chelsea Preparatory school authorities in Durban North, who alerted parents on Saturday that “one of our families has recently been in contact with the patient who has been tested positive for Covid-19".

Principal Grant Maartens told parents: “We have been in contact with the family, who have been completely transparent and in communication with the school, for which we are very grateful. Although it is highly improbable that they have contracted the virus, they are to be tested by the NICD and will inform the school of the results. Although they are exhibiting no symptoms, the family has been self-quarantined and will remain this way until they have been cleared.”

On Monday the school issued a second notice to parents confirming that both pupils’ results had been confirmed as negative.

“As a result, no Chelsea pupils were exposed to the Covid-19 virus by this family. Both children will remain in self-quarantine for a further two weeks despite testing negative. Upon receiving a clearance certificate from the NICD hey will return to school in the second term.”

Maartens urged parents to monitor the health of their children and not send any sick children to school.


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