Weekly update on the Coronavirus by the Garden Route District Municipality Command Centre

Weekly update on the Coronavirus by the Garden Route District Municipality Command Centre

For Immediate Release
14 June 2020

The Garden Route has recorded nine (9) COVID-19 deaths to date – five in George, one in Mossel Bay, two in Knysna and one in Hessequa. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all family members and friends of the deceased and we continue to keep them in our prayers. Since 7 June 2020, the Garden Route has recorded 102 new COVID-19 positive cases – a total of 209 Garden Routers have now recovered from the virus.

Executive Mayor of GRDM, Councillor Memory Booysen on Saturday thanked the public for donating 459 cloth face masks that will be distributed to community members who cannot afford to buy their own. Cllr Booysen thanked those who donated masks by name (in no particular order): Lee Neto, Gerty Bezuidenhoudt, Jenny Streiger, Lorrain Gerberg, Khutala Maki Gewegwe, Penny Tyson, Elize Loots, Bev Pollocks, Lisa Murray and Rohan Compion.

View the video of Cllr Booysen sharing a thank you message here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEgbNihMCpc

GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen (middle), with Cllr Liza Stroebel (right) and the George Junior City Council Municipal Manager, Mr Haydin Wentzel (left), Mayor Inilé du Toit (second from left) and Speaker, MsJalaser Basman (second from right).
GRDM Executive Mayor Cllr Memory Booysen with Mr Herman Pienaar (Love George) and Mr Horne (Faith Based Organisation).

On Saturday, Mayor Booysen also visited the Shofar Christian Church in George where a lot of good work happens. Shofar provides space for the Love George NGO to create and distribute food parcels from to the most vulnerable. The storehouse has played a pivotal role in feeding the most vulnerable communities in the region. Another highlight of Cllr Booysen’s visit to the site was to meet the George Junior City Council members. Under the leadership of Inilé du Toit (Mayor), Haydin Wentzel (Municipal Manager) and Jalaser Basman (Speaker), the Junior City Council members managed to source various donations for the needy. Items collected include non-perishable food, clothing, toys and other items.

Listen to Councillor Memory Booysen’s address to the George Junior City Council, FBOs and Love George NGO here:



In an effort to break the rate and cycle of COVID-19 infections, Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) will conduct home visits to those who tested positive for COVID-19. This will be done to ensure that they are adhering to the rules relating to self-isolation. The GRDM is also investigating the possibility of providing individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 with hand sanitisers.


Bitou 15 14 16 (+1) 15 (+1)
George 105 50 148 83 (+2)
Hessequa 13 10 19 (+6) 12
Kannaland 1 All recovered 3 (+2) 2 (+2)
Knysna 69 44 88 (+19) 59 +15)
Mossel Bay 34 28 63 (+29) 29 (+1)
Oudtshoorn 17 8 19 (+2) 9 (+1)
Totals 254 155 356 (+102) 209 (+54)

Visit https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard for live updates.

The Western Cape Department of Health found that the following risk factors are most prevalent for people who succumbed to the COVID-19 coronavirus in the region. A shift in testing strategy to prioritise persons most at risk for severe disease, therefore include:

  • Diabetes, hypertension or heart disease on treatment
  • Cancer on treatment
  • TB on treatment
  • HIV with poor adherence to ARVs
  • Chronic lung disease on treatment (e.g. asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis)

Many people who contract Covid-19 will have mild symptoms and most will recover without any need for hospitalisation. But this does not mean that we should be any less careful- as you could experience mild symptoms, but you could also pass on the virus to your parents or grandparents, or someone in one of the high risk groups.

People with existing comorbidities are more at risk of becoming severely ill if they contract Covid-19.

Those most at risk include those who are:

  • Individuals with comorbidities, at any age
  • 55 years an older, with or without co-morbidities


One must clearly distinguish between direct (close) contact, and casual contact. Direct contact involves being very close to someone physically, or giving a hug or a handshake. It is important that we keep direct contact to a minimum as required by physical distancing protocols. Only the direct contacts of a confirmed case need to isolate for up to 14 days from the date of last contact.

Just being in the same room as a confirmed case, when maintaining the 1.5m physical distancing requirement, is considered casual contact. Casual contacts do not need to isolate, but they should be monitored for any symptoms of COVID-19.

Circumstances of each positive case will determine whether a person needs to self-isolate.


Agrimark in Stellenbosch promised to donate fruit and vegetables to the region, which will delivered to the Garden Route within the next two weeks and distributed to local municipalities to use at soup kitchens.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development also donated various foodstuffs to the Garden Route homeless shelters, including porridge, beef and chicken soup, juice, pasta and mince, chicken casserole, maize meal and pilchards.  There are 296 homeless people housed at the shelters all over the Garden Route at the moment.

Red Cross International has indicated that they will provide assistance to the quarantine and isolation facility at PetroSA in terms after a request for vanity packs were received. Other items that could make the stay of Covid-19 infected people at this facility more bearable will also be considered.


The GRDM Communications section completed a COVID-19 awareness and training video – view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU5xOTZnnNc&t=8s