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