Hotspot alert issued for the Garden Route
The Western Cape Government has issued an urgent hotspot alert for the Garden Route, due to the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in that area. This spike is mainly contributing to the notable growth of active cases in the Western Cape.
Specifically, we are concerned about the increasing number of cases in George, Knysna and Bitou. George, which currently has 628 active cases, has the highest number of active cases in the province.
Over the weekend, we saw:
- 160 new cases in George
- 145 new cases in Knysna/Bitou
- 41 new cases in Mossel Bay
- 7 new cases in Hessequa
Along with the increasing number of cases in the region, we are also seeing the number of hospitalisations increase. Our hospitals still have sufficient capacity to cope with the surge in cases, however, we must all be taking responsibility to ensure that we are able to contain the further spread of the virus.
The hotspot team for the Garden Route has increased surveillance, through screening and testing. We are also working closely with the municipalities, environmental health teams, and stakeholders in the region to manage and contain the spread. This includes a concerted communications campaign in the area. We are also paying special attention to vulnerable groups, including old age homes.
We need every single resident of the Garden Route and visitors to the region to help us stop this surge by:
- Wearing your mask at all times when out in public places
- Avoiding gatherings
- Avoiding crowded places, especially when there is poor ventilation
- Staying at least 1.5 metre apart
- Washing your hands with soap and water regularly
If you feel sick, stay at home. If you are experiencing symptoms, call the hotline on 080 928 4102 for directions and next steps.
We will only be able to bring this situation under control if everyone takes responsibility now.
On Thursday, my weekly digital press conference will specifically focus on the Garden Route and I will set out more details on our response plans for the district.
Let's stay safe and keep moving forward.