Prevent, Detect, Isolation, Treat, Reintegration (PDITR)

Contingency plan

1. Follow a decision model and prepare a contingency plan for closing and reopening the school in case of COVID-19 resurgence

  • Separate guidelines will be issued as support for the preparation of Schools Contingency Plan
  • Includes:

a. Decision points for school lockdown;

b. Distance learning modalities during lockdown

c. Strategies for the reopening of schools after the lockdown

2. Include strategies for the continuity of learning while the school is closed until the local authorities have determined the safe resumption of face-to-face classes

Do you need to take antibiotics or prophylactic medicine if you have COVID-19? What treatments may be provided?

For Probable or Confirmed COVID-19 cases that are classified as either Mild or Moderate, symptomatic treatment may be provided. There is no need for antibiotics nor prophylaxis.

How do we report cases of COVID-19 for detection and surveillance?

  1. The Safety and Health Officer shall submit the list of all cases and close contacts to the general manager and their respective LGU and DOH for reporting, including investigation details on sources of transmission.
  2. The Case Investigation Form (CIF) Version 9,  or its subsequent versions, shall be utilized by all laboratories, LGUs, and other disease reporting units (DRUs) as the standard form for COVID-19 notifiable disease reporting as per Department Memorandum 2021-0285, also known as the Implementation of the Use of the COVID-19 Case Investigation Form Version 9.

How is contact tracing done?

  1. Upon identification of a suspect, probable, or confirmed case, the designated Safety and Health Offices shall initiate contact tracing within the office/floor/building to identify 70% of all possible close contacts within 24 hours and 100% within 48 hours. Contact tracing shall also commence for contacts of suspect cases upon identification while waiting for specimen collection for SARS- CoV-2 diagnostic testing or RT-PCR results. Identification of second and third - generation close contacts is highly encouraged.
  2. The Safety and Health Officer shall notify the contacts of suspect cases and advise them to self-monitor and adhere to stringent minimum public health standards. If the suspect case turns out to be probable or confirmed, their contacts shall be instructed to undergo quarantine or isolation, whichever is appropriate.

If a person dies of COVID-19, do they get buried or cremated?

Procedures for burial and cremation shall be done within 12 hours after death.

In the workplace settings, who shall ensure reiteration and monitor compliance to the minimum public health standards?

Reiteration of the minimum public health standards for COVID-19 shall be done by the Safety and Health Officers. If there is an increase in non-compliance to such instructions, it shall be determined if a formal training or convening of the employees is necessary to deliver adequate information to improve compliance.

What are some of the healthy habits we can adopt for stronger health and immunity against COVID-19?

  1. Elimination or reduction of tobacco use and exposure shall be strongly and proactively encouraged and effectively sustained. The following guidelines of Department Memorandum No. 2020-0246 also known as “Interim Guidelines on Tobacco Control in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic” are reiterated:
  • Cessation of all forms of tobacco and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) use shall be strongly and proactively encouraged and effectively sustained through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and continued provision of tobacco cessation programs.
  • LGUs and other government agencies shall continue to prohibit the use of tobacco and vape in public spaces, and ensure that all related policies and local ordinances are properly enforced and monitored by the respective persons-in-authority and their agents
  • Information dissemination on the harmful effects of tobacco and vapor products shall be continued, including the relationship between these products and COVID-19.

What are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)- approved disinfectants?

1. Sodium hypochlorite recommended ratio of 0.1% (1000 ppm) for regular disinfection, and recommended ratio of 0.5% (5000 ppm) for body fluids

2. Ethanol in all surfaces at a recommended ratio of 70-90%

3. Hydrogen peroxide in all surfaces at a recommended ratio of >0.5%

What are the components of active surveillance?

  1. Safety and Health Officers shall conduct daily monitoring of temperatures, symptoms, absences, and positive cases and clusters, which shall be consolidated by management to track ongoing transmission within the setting
  2. Establishments may develop active surveillance mechanisms that include testing of employees that are at high risk given the nature of their work, such as workers who cannot dutifully meet minimum public health standards, or in areas with frequent clusters of symptoms, absences, or positive cases, subject to established and evidence-based protocols and guidelines on testing.

What are the engineering controls to be observed to prevent COVID-19 transmission?

1.  Maintain physical distancing or spacing through the installation of physical barriers in enclosed areas where physical distancing may be compromised, i.e. sneeze guards (Acrylic Plastic Sheets), fixed glass panels, theater ropes and stanchions, hazard warning tape, etc

2. Ensure adequate air exchange in enclosed (indoor) areas thru the following strategies:

a. Maximize natural ventilation through open windows

b. Use low-cost modifications to improve air flow i.e. addition of fans or exhaust fans.
Identify multi-occupant spaces that are used regularly and are poorly ventilated. Air flow shall be controlled to ensure indoor CO2 concentrations be maintained at-or below-1,000 ppm in schools and 800 ppm in offices. Since outdoor CO2 concentration directly impacts the indoor concentration, it is critical to measure outdoor CO2 levels when assessing indoor concentrations. Indoor CO2 levels shall not exceed the outdoor concentration by more than about 600 ppm.

c. Installation and regular maintenance of exhaust fans and air filtration devices with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters

3. Installation of hand hygiene and sanitation facilities, and provision of materials such as the following:

a. Adequate and safe water supply

b. Hand washing station or sink

c. Soap and water or 70% Isopropyl (or Ethyl) Alcohol

d. Hands-free trash receptacles, soap and towel dispensers, door openers, and other similar hands-free equipment

4. Separate Entry and Exit points in high traffic areas:

a. Use of unidirectional markers

b. Installation of signages for queuing and unidirectional movement

c. Sectioning

d. Queuing

e. Footbaths are not recommended

5. Establishment of a Screening or Triage area at different points-of-entry:

a. Health Declaration or Symptom Assessment

b. Non- contact Temperature Check

c. Isolation area near points-of-entry for symptomatic individuals

6. The use of foot baths, disinfection tents, misting chambers, or sanitation booths for preventing and controlling COVID-19 transmission are not recommended even for individuals in full PPE (e.g. pre-doffing misting).

7. Use of ionizing filters and UV lamps outside the health facility setting are not recommended by Philippine COVID-19 Living Recommendations.

8. Installation of visual  cues or signages to communicate:

a. Physical distancing of at least one meter distance

b. Cough and sneeze etiquette

c. Proper hand hygiene and control

i. Face, eyes, nose, and mouth shall not be touched
ii. Thorough handwashing with soap and water for 20-30 seconds
iii. In the absence of soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (=60% alcohol) or isopropyl (or ethyl) alcohol. Hand sanitizer is not a replacement for good hand hygiene.
iv. Proper use and disposal of PPE
v. Other critical reminders in the PDITR+ strategy and BIDA Solusyon

9. Facility for proper storage, collection, treatment, and disposal of used PPE and other infectious waste.

a. Storage

i. Designate an isolated area for containment/storage of the leak-proof yellow trash bag/container with used PPE
ii. Secure the storage area so it is not frequented by the personnel


b. Collection, Treatment, and Disposal

i. Dispose of all used PPE in a separate leak-proof yellow trash bag/container with a cover properly labeled as “USED PPE”
ii. Collect the leak-proof yellow trash bag/container regularly or twice a day (before and after working day) from
designated/specific area to the general collection area for treatment and disposal
iii. Require the utility staff to wear a medical-grade face mask and puncture-proof gloves when collecting/handling the leak-proof yellow trash bag/container
iv. Treatment through disinfection or spraying of the collected wastes with a chlorine solution (1:10)
v. Disposal of the disinfected PPE with general waste to the final
disposal facility.

What are the governance structures and operational policies that should be observed for COVID-19 mitigation?

1. Designate COVID-19 Response Teams and Safety and Health Officers

2. Conduct internal risk exposure assessment through walk-through inspection to identify choke points and high-risk areas for mass gatherings, frequently visited  areas, highly touched surfaces, and other high-risk areas

3. Ensure adequate provision of personal protective equipment to all employees, regardless of employment status, such as:

  • Cloth or surgical masks,or face shield as necessary
  • Gloves and other appropriate PPE for all personnel tasked to do regular cleaning and disinfection of the workplace or institution

4. Reduce physical capacity in entities and business establishments

5. Use of digital tools

6. Guidelines and monitoring mechanism limiting unnecessary gatherings (e.g. face-to-face meetings, crowding in common areas, group activities, cating together)

  • Scheduling or clearance process for use of meeting rooms and other common areas
  • Limit the entry of visitors or entertain only on scheduled visits
  • Use of plated meals as standard means of food packaging
  • Limit use of pantries and dining areas especially in those without physical barriers or ventilation

7. Availability and adequacy of public and private shuttle services or transportation modes to and from work

  • Observe reduced capacity in compliance to the standards set by the Department of Transportation and other relevant national guidelines
  • Conduct proper health screening prior to entry to the vehicle
  • Documentation per passenger per trip to enable contact tracing
  • Schedule shuttles to designated groups or bubbles to limit the number of possible contacts, as much as possible
  • Develop mechanisms for provision of other safe and innovative modes of transportation, such as but not limited to, gas allowances or subsidies, and the like

8. Disinfection, which include the following actions at the minimum:

  • Develop a routine schedule for disinfection such as at least twice a day cleaning and disinfection for high contact surfaces; such as telephones, printers, biometric machines, copiers, physical barriers, etc
  • Disinfect specific operations, facilities, and/or work areas depending on their use
  • Use of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - approved disinfectants
  • Developing lockdown disinfection protocols such as having a 24-hour lockdown period for disinfection, only after which canit be opened for use to other personnel or occupants

9. Employers shall be encouraged to establish flexible policies on the provision of sick leaves and health benefits.

What are the guidelines for returning to work employees?

  1. Close contacts: Fourteen (14)-day quarantine has been completed regardless of negative test result and vaccination status.
  2. Fully vaccinated individuals who are close contacts of probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases may undergo a seven (7) day- quarantine period, provided that the individual remains asymptomatic for the duration of the seven-day period with the first day being the date immediately after the last exposure. (IATF Resolution No. 142 s.2021)
  3. Suspect, probable or confirmed cases, whether fully vaccinated, unvaccinated, or with incomplete vaccination:
  • For asymptomatic: Ten (10)-day isolation have passed from the first viral diagnostic test and remained asymptomatic throughout their infection;
  • For mild to moderate COVID-19 confirmed cases: Ten (10)-day isolation have passed from onset of the first symptom, respiratory symptoms have improved (cough, shortness of breath), AND have been afebrile for at least 24 hours without use of antipyretic medications;
  • For severe and critical COVID-19 confirmed cases: Twenty-one (21)-day isolation has passed from onset of the first symptom, respiratory symptoms have improved (cough, shortness of breath) AND have been afebrile for at least 24 hours without the use of antipyretic medications

What are the isolation protocols for individuals who are considered suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases?

i. Immediate isolation shall be required for any individual with fever OR at least two (2) or more symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. cough and cold, or cold and sore throat).


ii. All asymptomatic confirmed cases shall be placed in isolation for a minimum of 10 days from first viral diagnostic test. All symptomatic suspect, probable, and confirmed cases shall be placed in isolation for a minimum of 10 days from onset of the first symptom, without prejudice to attendance requirements or leaves.

What are the key functions of the COVID-19 Response Teams and the Safety and Health Officers

1. Ensure, monitor, and evaluate proper implementation and strict observance of minimum public health standards within their respective institutions

2. Effectively orient and constantly provide reminders to occupants regarding minimum public health standards, in coordination with management and LGUs for immediate action

3. Provision of the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to occupants or employees

4. Develop policies to sanction non-compliance to use of PPE in the workplace or institution

5. Conduct daily health and exposure screening

6. Isolate and test identified suspect cases

7. Lead the conduct of contact tracing, especially in the workplace or establishments, and their quarantine and, as needed, testing

8. Lead the investigation of the source and underlying cause of COVID-19 transmission, up to the capacity they can provide in conducting an investigation

9.  Report detected cases and close contacts to the LGU and DOH

10. Conduct regular re-orientation and health education and promotion activities using the BIDA campaign principles.

11. Manage the directory of point persons for BHERTS, LESU, and RESU, and coordinate for activities like isolation, testing and management of employees.

What are the layers of protection of the learners?

  • Protection of the child
  • Prioritization of learners
  • Appropriate PPE
  • Behavioral adjustment
  • Protection of the family or household
  • Household vaccination
  • Routine disinfection
  • Implementation of minimum public health standards
  • Protection of the school
  • Prioritization of school staff
  • Passed School Readiness Assessment
  • Continuous School Health Promotion through Safety and Surveillance Officers
  • Protection of the community
  • Minimal and low risk of transmission in community
  • Vaccination of most vulnerable and exposed
  • LGU and Hospital Coordination

What are the phases of the pilot implementation?

  • FIRST PHASE - Pilot implementation of up to 100 public and 20 private schools for 2 month duration
  • SECOND PHASE - possible expansion into other areas and age groups
  • Rolling assessment of eligible schools based on (a) school readiness assessment by DepEd, (b) minimal or low risk status assessment of the DOH, (c) concurrence of the LGUs, (d) consent of parents and stakeholders

What are the procedures for those patients who will die of COVID-19?

As stated in the DOH DM No. 2020-0158, otherwise known as, "Proper Handling of the Remains of Suspect, Probable and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases", suspect and probable COVID-19 patients who died with pending test results shall be handled similar to a confirmed COVID-19 case. Standard safety precautions must be observed at all times. Burial and cremation of the remains of suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases are safe for as long as strict infection and prevention control measures are observed.

What are the protocols for those who will be buried? What are the protocols for the remains of those with other religious beliefs or faith?

For those that will be buried, remains shall be placed in a durable, airtight and sealed metal casket. For patients with Islamic faith, remains shall alternatively be placed in a double sealed cadaver bag.

What are the protocols for those who will be cremated?

For those that will be cremated, cremains shall be reduced to the size of fine sand or ashes and packed in a cremains container before they are turned over to the relatives of the deceased; and be placed in a container made of polyethylene provided with a liner bag (preformed 5 ml plastic), locking tie and identification label.

What are the protocols if a child will be isolated?

All children in facility isolation shall be accompanied by a guardian in the quarantine or isolation facility. Parents or guardians that are not confirmed COVID-19 cases may accompany the COVID-19 confirmed child provided risks and benefits are explained, informed consent is provided, and the adult has no comorbidity putting them at risk for severe disease and death.

What are the quarantine and isolation protocols for travelers?

Quarantine and isolation protocols for travelers shall be based on the latest guidelines  from the IATF

What are the quarantine protocols of asymptomatic close contacts?

i. Immediate quarantine of asymptomatic close contacts of the suspect, probable, or confirmed cases shall be completed in 14 days, regardless if testing has not been done, or resulted negative


ii. If symptoms develop, they shall be admitted to a TTMF and be tested using RT-PCR, or if not available, antigen test. If results are NEGATIVE, they shall be discharged after the completion of 14 days quarantine. If results are POSITIVE, they shall be isolated, managed and discharged, as per guidelines.

What are the roles of LGUs/ health facilities/ health care provider networks (HCPNs) and other entities?

All entities shall adopt a reporting and coordination mechanism with the Local Government Unit for referral into health facilities, access to a health care provider network (HCPN) and telemedicine, and provision of medical and psychosocial services.

What are the roles of Safety and Health Officers

Safety and Health Officers shall regularly monitor the status of employees in the office who are quarantined in their homes or in the isolation facilities and health facilities.

What are the supports for individuals who will be isolated and/or quarantined?

All individuals shall be given support, either in cash or in kind, during the duration of their isolation and quarantine and shall be given sick leave benefits equivalent to the days of their isolation or quarantine.

What are the testing protocols for reopening of schools?

  • No, testing is not required or mandatory prior for resumption of classes or to participation in every class.
  • Symptom and exposure screening remain the most cost effective way to screen individuals who do not present any symptoms; especially with high false negatives for these groups.
  • Protocol in case of a COVID infection
  1. Isolated in designated isolation rooms
  2. Immediately notify family member/ guardian
  3. Isolated and referred based on severity of their symptom
  4. ensure the provision of necessary emergency care to the personnel or learner
  5. referred/fully disclosed to the identified health authority (e.g., barangay health station, rural health unit) for further evaluation or referral
  6. Concerned learners and personnel shall strictly observe the advice of health authorities
  7. Closely followed up by the attending/assigned school health personnel or the designated clinic teacher, and necessary information shall be reported to the SDO School Health and Nutrition Unit/Section
  8. school shall ensure that learners and personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 shall not return to school, even if they are already asymptomatic, unless cleared by medical authorities.

DOH DM 2020-0512: Revised Omnibus Interim Guidelines on PDITR Strategies for COVID-19
Indiscriminate rRT-PCR testing beyond close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case is not recommended.

AO 2021-0043: Omnibus Guidelines on the Minimum Public Health Standards for the Safe Reopening of Institutions
The use of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) as a complementary test to RT- PCR shall be allowed for screening and diagnostic testing of suspect, probable, including symptomatic and asymptomatic close contacts who fit the updated WHO case definitions in hospitals or community settings when RT-PCR capacity is insufficient or not immediately available, and in areas with suspected or confirmed outbreaks

What are the testing protocols?

1. For asymptomatic close contacts of probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases, RT-PCR testing shall be done 5 to 7 days from exposure. If limited test kits are available, the following conditions shall be prioritized:

  • Age is >60  years old and/or they have a comorbidity,
  • There are sufficient RT-PCR testing kits
  • Enough  human resources  for additional  contact tracing

2. For mild or moderate suspect or probable COVID-19 cases, RT-PCR test shall be done immediately if RT-PCR test is available in a nationally accredited laboratory. If not and a rapid antigen test is available, rapid antigen test shall be performed.

3. For severe and critical suspect or probable COVID-19 cases, patients must first be stabilized prior to testing. Once stable, RT-PCR test shall be done if RT-PCR test is available in a nationally accredited laboratory. If not and a rapid antigen test is available, rapid antigen test shall be performed.

What are the things to avoid?

Large gatherings at the crematorium/ burial ground should be avoided.

What do we do in lockdowns?

  1. Lockdowns shall be used to facilitate disinfection and immediate contact tracing to guide isolation and quarantine decisions of personnel involved.
  2. Building (or floor) lockdowns shall be implemented by the respective institutional authorities (i.e. Administrative Services, Executive Board, etc.) and shall be done to facilitate disinfection of common areas such as stairways and corridors when clustering is reported in two (2) or more rooms / offices in that building.
  3. Granular Lockdowns in the community, down to the level of the barangay, shall be implemented by local government unit authorities consistent with the latest national or IATF guidelines. “Granular Lockdown” are Micro-level quarantine, singularly or collectively, in the level of barangay, block, purok,  street, subdivision/ village, residential building, or house, that are tagged as "critical zones (or CrZ)" by the DILG and Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF).
  4. National government, local government, and establishments shall provide assistance to those affected by lockdowns depending on needs, whether in cash or in kind.

What do we need to know under Alert Level 1?

  1. Intrazonal and interzonal travel shall be allowed without regard to age and comorbidities.
  2. All establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it is consistent with minimum public health standards; provided further, that face to face classes for basic education shall be subject to prior approval of the Office of the President.

What do we need to know under Alert Level 2?

1. Intrazonal and interzonal travel shall be allowed subject to the reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities, as may be determined by the LGUs, which should not be stricter as those prescribed under Alert Level 4 and subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective RIATF. Provided, that those below eighteen (18) years of age, and those belonging to the vulnerable population, shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices in accordance with existing labor laws, rules, and regulations. Individual outdoor exercises shall also be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.
2. her, that there is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place.

  • Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
  • Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers;
  • Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like;
  • Amusement parks or theme parks;
  • Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues;
  • Cinemas and movie houses;
  • Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education subject to prior approval of the Office of the President;
  • Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training;
  • In-person religious gatherings; gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased;
  • Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations administered by their respective government agency, and specialty examinations authorized by the IATF subject to the health and safety guidelines as approved by the IATF;
  • Dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols;
  • Personal care establishments such as barbershops, hair spas, hair salons, and nail spas, and those offering aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, salons, spas, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options, subject to the sector-specific protocols of the DTI;
  • Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for individual non-contact exercise and sports, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols. Provided that patrons/clients and workers/employees wear face masks at all times and that no group activities are conducted;
  • Film, music, and television production subject to the joint guidelines as may be issued by the DTI, DOLE, and the DOH;
  • Contact sports approved by the LGU where such games shall be held;
  • Funfairs/peryas or kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;
  • Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters; and
  • Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.

3. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 50% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.

What do we need to know under Alert Level 3?

1. Intrazonal and interzonal travel shall be allowed subject to reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities, as may be determined by the LGUs, which should not be stricter as those prescribed under Alert Level 4 and subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective RIATF. Provided, that those below eighteen (18) years of age, and those belonging to the vulnerable population, shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices in accordance with existing labor laws, rules, and regulations. Individual outdoor exercises shall also be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.
2. The following establishments and/or activities characterized as high-risk for transmission shall not be allowed to operate, or be undertaken in areas classified under Alert Level 3:

  • Face to face or in-person classes for basic education, except those previously approved by the IATF and/or the Office of the President;
  • Contact sports, except those conducted under a bubble-type setup as provided for under relevant guidelines adopted by the IATF, Games and Amusement Board, and Philippine Sports Commission, and approved by the LGU where such games shall be held;
  • Funfairs/peryas and kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;
  • Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters;
  • Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except as may be authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President; and
  • Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.

3. The following establishments, or activities, shall be allowed to operate or be undertaken at a maximum of 30% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50% outdoor venue capacity. Provided, that all workers/employees of these establishments are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and MPHS shall be strictly maintained. Provided further, that there is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place.

  • Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
  • Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers;
  • Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like;
  • Amusement parks or theme parks;
  • Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues;
  • Cinemas and movie houses;
  • Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training;
  • In-person religious gatherings; gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased;
  • Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations administered by their respective government agency, and specialty examinations authorized by the IATF subject to the health and safety guidelines as approved by the IATF;
  • Dine-in services in food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols;
  • Personal care establishments such as barbershops, hair spas, hair salons, and nail spas, and those offering aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, salons, spas, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options, subject to the sector-specific protocols of the DTI;
  • Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols. Provided that patrons/clients and workers/employees wear face masks at all times and that no group activities are conducted; and
  • Film, music, and television production, subject to the joint guidelines as may be issued by the DTI, DOLE, and the DOH.

4. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 30% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.

What do we need to know under Alert Level 4?

1. Intrazonal and interzonal travel shall be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination, except for those (i) below eighteen (18) years of age, and (ii) belonging to the vulnerable population, namely, those who are over sixty-five (65) years of age, those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women, provided that:

  • Those below eighteen (18) years of age, and those belonging to the vulnerable population, shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices in accordance with existing labor laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals belonging to the vulnerable population and those below eighteen (18) years of age shall be allowed to participate in the following activities:
  • Specialized markets of the Department of Tourism such as Point-to-Point Travel subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination, and Staycations; and
  • Individual outdoor exercises even beyond the general area of their respective residences. Provided that, the minimum public health standards and precautions such as the wearing of face masks and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.

2. Fully vaccinated individuals, including those belonging to the vulnerable population, may participate in the permitted activities under this Section.
3. The following establishments and/or activities characterized as high-risk for transmission shall not be allowed to operate, or be undertaken in areas classified under Alert Level 4:

  • Face to face or in-person classes for basic education, except those approved by the IATF and/or the Office of the President;
  • Face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education or for technical, vocational education and training, except those approved by the IATF and/or the Office of the President;
  • All contact sports, whether indoor or outdoor
  • Cinemas and movie houses
  • Funfairs/peryas and kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides
  • Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters;
  • Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except as may be authorized by the IATF or the Office of the President; and
  • Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.

4. The following establishments, or activities, shall be allowed to operate, or be undertaken at a maximum of 10% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 30% outdoor venue capacity provided that they have been issued a Safety Seal Certification. Provided further, that all workers/employees of these establishments are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and minimum public health standards shall be strictly maintained. Provided further still, that there is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place:

  • Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
  • Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers;
  • Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like;
  • Amusement parks and theme parks; and
  • Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues.

5. The following establishments, or activities, shall be allowed to operate, or be undertaken at a maximum of 10% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 30% outdoor venue capacity. Provided, that all workers/employees of these establishments are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and minimum public health standards shall be strictly maintained. Provided further, that there is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place:

6. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19, and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased, shall be allowed, provided that the same shall be limited to immediate family members, upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards.

7. Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational and shall adhere to at least 20% on-site capacity while applying work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements.

What do we need to know under Alert Level 5?

Areas placed under Alert Level 5 shall observe the guidelines applicable to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as provided for under the IATF Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended. The benefits applicable to ECQ shall be applicable in Alert Level 5.

What isolation facility should the suspect, probable, and confirmed cases be admitted and isolated?

Suspect, probable and confirmed cases shall be isolated in the proper facility depending on the severity of their symptoms:

  • Asymptomatic and mild confirmed cases shall be admitted and isolated in Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs), community-based facilities, or in their homes as long as they meet the criteria for home quarantine or isolation
  • Moderate cases shall be isolated and managed in Level 1 or 2 hospitals or in their homes as long as they meet the criteria for home quarantine or isolation
  • Severe and critical cases shall be isolated and managed in Level 2 or 3 hospitals.
  • For individuals with co-existing medical conditions, they shall be referred to their attending physician for further assessment and recommendation with regards to their admission to the appropriate facility.

What shall be the classroom layout and structure of the schools?

1. Specify physical design of chairs and classroom arrangements that ensure proper physical distancing

2. Seats must be at least 1 meter at the minimum to 2 meters apart

3. Follow required number of maximum learners in each classroom

  • Kindergarten: 12
  • Grade 1-3: 16
  • Grade 4-6: 20
  • Grade 7-10: 20
  • Grade 11-12: 20
  • TVL: 12

4. Limited number of learners on scheduled days

  • Schools days shorter complemented by online class
  • Increased learning hours in school but less number of school days in a week
  • Same set or pods of students and staff in contact with each other

5. Ventilation

  • All classrooms must have working electric fans, and windows and doors shall be open at all times to
  • In air-conditioned spaces, filters such as high- efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration air purifiers can be used to clean recirculated air, provided that the unit is adequate for the size of the room
  • Use of CO2 monitoring devices to achieve an air change rate of 6 to 12 Air Change per Hour (ACH)

Where will I refer patients who are severe or critical suspect, probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases?

Severe or critical suspect, probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases shall be referred to a pulmonologist and infectious disease specialist and managed in the appropriate health facility.

Who and when should one use personal protective equipment such as face masks, face shields, gloves and the like?

1. All persons shall wear well-fitted face masks and face shields, if necessary, especially in public areas and enclosed spaces.
2. Mandatory use of a face shield on top of face masks shall be done in high risk activities under the 3C’s (Closed, Crowded, and Close Contact) framework.

These 3C’s settings and activities shall include:

  • Indoor activities and settings, especially when there is crowding or higher risk of exposure or  close contact based on the nature of activities, as applicable. These may include activities in commercial establishments and public transport, among others.
  • Indoor and outdoor dining, except during actual eating of meals.
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings or crowded settings, especially when one (1) meter physical distance is not possible. These may include, but not limited to, indoor and outdoor commercial establishments such as food establishments, malls, and public markets, and transport terminals and PUV stops.
  • Indoor and outdoor activities that promote close contact, such as personal care services, among others.
  • Other activities not otherwise specified that follow the 3C’s framework
  • All other activities identified by the IATF-EID in succeeding issuances which can be accessed through this link: tinyurl.com/IATFResolution
  • The voluntary use of a face shield on top of face masks is recommended in other settings not otherwise stated, especially in Alert 3, 4, and 5 areas.

3. Medical grade masks are recommended for healthcare workers, vulnerable populations (elderly, with comorbidities, immunocompromised),  all persons with any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (even if mild), and the general population in high transmission risk settings based on their community risk or nature of work.

4. All persons with any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, even if mild, as well as vulnerable populations (elderly, with comorbidities,
immunocompromised), shall wear a medical-grade mask. Use of cloth face masks is not recommended in view of rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. However, if a medical grade mask or surgical mask is unavailable, wearing of two cloth masks could be an alternative.

5. Individuals who are at risk of suffocation (children under the age of two, persons with breathing problems, persons who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove their mask on their own) are not recommended to wear masks. As an alternative, they may wear well-fitted face shields instead. Per CDC recommendation, well- fitted face shields should wrap around the sides of the face and extend below the chin.

6. Gloves and other appropriate PPE shall be used in performing activities such as cleaning and disinfection.

Who are covered by Philhealth benefits? Will contractual employees (i.e. job orders, casual) and temporary workers also be covered by Philhealth?

To ensure the adequacy of medical assistance, all concerned entities shall ensure its employees, whether contractual, temporary, and permanent, are enrolled and adequately covered with Philhealth benefits.

Who can be allowed for home quarantine? What are the requirements that must be met?

Designed for short-term physician-and-caregiver
directed care to help stable COVID-19 patients recover illness through provision of basic supportive management and psychosocial support, monitoring of warning signs of COVID-19 progression and prevention of further illness and hospital stay. Home quarantine shall be allowed for suspect, probable, and confirmed cases of COVID-19 who are either asymptomatic or with mild symptoms only and controlled comorbidities, provided that the following requirements are met:

a. Infrastructure

  1. Line of communication for family and health workers
  2. Electricity, portable water, cooking source
  3. Bathroom with toilet and sink, if possible, separate from family (if none, disinfect bathroom after use)
  4. Solid waste and sewage disposal
  5. Well- ventilated room
     

b. Accommodations

  1. Separate bedroom - no vulnerable person in the household
  2. Accessible bathroom in the residence
     

c. Resource for patient care and support

  1. Primary caregiver who will remain in the residence (not high risk for complications and educated on proper precautions)
  2. Medications for pre-existing conditions, as needed
  3. Digital thermometer (disinfected before and after use) and pulse oximeter
  4. Meal preparation
  5. Masks, tissues, hand hygiene products
  6. Household cleaning products

Who developed the guide and decision making protocols for the treatment and patient management?

The Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID)’s Philippine COVID-19 Living Recommendations and the Unified COVID-19 Algorithms shall guide treatment and patient management decisions.

Who will be needing further assessment in an isolation room?

Individuals who have any of the following:

a. elevated temperature,
b. presence of flu-like symptoms,
c. any yes/ confirmatory answer to the Health Declaration Form or
d. exposure history to a COVID-19 case or probable case

Why prioritize younger learners?

  • Lesser risk of transmission
  • Lesser burden of disease (lower infections and mortality rates)
  • Higher need for F2F learning given brain plasticity
  • Higher chance of success in pilot implementation to improve confidence in safe reopening of F2F learning in schools at all levels.