QC gov’t employees who worked during ECQ to undergo COVID-19 testing

Personnel of the Quezon City government who were on duty during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be prioritized for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, which will be held from June 22-26 in a site within the Quezon City Hall compound.

Based on the guidelines released by Joseph Juico, project head of the city’s COVID-19 community based testing, among those who will be prioritized are employees who were involved in special amelioration program payouts and packing of relief, among others.

While the city government wants to test all of its employees for COVID-19, Mayor Joy Belmonte said amended guidelines of the IATF have discouraged it to avoid the depletion of available test kits and testing resources.

“We will maximize all available resources within the bounds of the guidelines issued by the national government,” Belmonte said.

“Uunahin muna natin ang ating mga tauhan na pumasok noong ECQ dahil mas malaki ang tsansa na sila’y maaring na-expose sa virus,” she added.

After that, employees of other departments who were not on-duty during the ECQ will be tested, subject to the availability of test kits.

Workers who were physically present during the ECQ, such as the Office of the City Mayor, Office of the City Administrator, BPLD, CTO, Tourism, Assessor’s Office, City Architect’s Department, Department of Building Official and Engineering Department, will all be given priority. Also given priority are employees of the City Health Department, Quezon City Medical Center, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital, Novaliches District Hospital, Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), Public Affairs and Information Services Department (PAISD), Market Development and Administration Department (MDAD), Transport and Traffic Management Taskforce;

Barangay and Community Relations Department (BCRD), Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD), General Services Department (GSD), Social Services and Development Department (SSDD), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), and Radio Communications Service.

Employees covered by the guidelines will be required to submit a digital Self-Assessment Form from the CHD via email to avoid close contact and to ensure ease of processing.

The CHD, headed by Dr. Esperanza Arias, will conduct review and assess the forms submitted by the employees.

“Employees must secure that their declared mobile number on the form is reachable, in case of clarifying matters and follow-up assessment,” said Dr. Arias.

Arias said employees who will be tested IgM positive through Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) will be required to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for confirmation “All personnel tested positive to IgM+ on RDT and symptomatic must under go mandatory quarantine, either through home isolation or in one of the HOPE Community Caring Facilities, while waiting for the PCR result,” said Arias.

Symptomatic employees will immediately undergo RT-PCR testing without RDT, she added.

Belmonte said time spent under quarantine of personnel will not be deducted from their sick leave.