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KES closed for a week as 34 boys test positive for Covid-19

Prega Govender Journalist
Pupils at King Edward VII chant their war cry. File photo
Pupils at King Edward VII chant their war cry. File photo
Image: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

One of Johannesburg’s leading boys’ schools, King Edward VII, has been forced to close due to a spike in Covid-19 infections among pupils.

This comes after the Gauteng education department said on Friday that 1,977 pupils and 1,077 teachers at 2,226 schools had, up to June 9, tested positive for the virus.

KES head David Lovatt.
KES head David Lovatt.
Image: King Edward VII School

David Lovatt, principal of King Edward VII, told parents on Friday the school will be closed from June 14-18, on the health department's recommendation, “due to the 34 positive cases” and 58 boys in quarantine.

“A number of educators are away from school facing similar circumstances,” he said in an e-mail.

“It is our collective belief that the effective 10-day break from face-to-face interactions at school will curb the rate of infections at school and allow all to recuperate adequately.”

Lovatt said that the move to online lessons “will not compromise our learners’ ability to complete the curriculum this year and in no way will it be allowed to impact on the grade 12s' ability to write the preliminary or end-of-year examinations”.

Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed that a growing number of pupils were testing positive for Covid-19.

“We have been working very closely with the department of health in deciding whether to close schools or not as per their recommendations,” he said.

“We have been closing a few schools during the week and we will continue to monitor very closely. If they recommend that we close a school, we do so.”

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