Seminary Re-opens After 10-day Closure for Covid-19
Saint John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria suspended all classes after seven students tested positive for Covid-19. The seminary re-opened on September 11.
All students were screened upon arrival at the seminary in Waterkloof, Pretoria, on August 28, and tested on August 31 after the Department of Higher Education and Training gave permission for 100% of the student body to return.
After seven students tested positive for Covid-19, the seminary “decided to discontinue all forms of gatherings for ten days”, rector Fr Masilo John Selemela told The Southern Cross.
“This was done to curb potential spread, to ascertain the state of all other students, and to better manage the situation,” he said.
“Infected students are isolated in the predesignated ensuite block under strict conditions, as per the St John Vianney Covid-19 policy, and are given all necessary care,” Fr Selemela said.
He noted that all seven were asymptomatic and needed neither special medical care nor hospitalisation. All other students and staff are screened daily for any symptoms.
For the duration of the ten-day lockdown, which lapsed on September 11, students were confined to their rooms.
“Teaching and learning are sustained through our e-learning programme,” Fr Selemela said. “The isolated students are also actively participating in the e-learning programme.”
He said all other activities of the seminary continue normally, with all staff members coming to work.
Asked how the seminarians were coping with the internal lockdown, Fr Selemela said: “Since routine is part of seminary life, the ten-day lockdown is nothing foreign.”
Lectures will resume on September 14, for the first time since March 17.
Fr Selemela explained that all contact classes were suspended as of March 18 following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of the national state of emergency.
Students were instructed to return to their respective dioceses or houses of formation.
“During lockdown, St John Vianney sustained teaching and learning through its Student E-Learning programme,” Fr Selemela said.
The exam calendar was also revised, so that students wrote their exams in their respective dioceses from August 2-21.
Please support The Southern Cross
Your support means we can keep Catholic news alive, so many more have free access to the high-quality, trustworthy news they deserve. So we seek your support not simply to survive, but to grow in our mandate to share the Good News and keep you informed about your Church and Catholic faith.
Every contribution, however big or small, makes a difference. Support us today – it only takes a minute. Thank you.