DepEd probes face-to-face seminars that triggered COVID-19 outbreak in Zambales
SAN ANTONIO, Zambales –– The Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Luzon has launched an investigation to determine the lapses in two face-to-face seminars organized by the association of school principals in this province early this month.
The seminars and workshops were held in two beach resorts in the capital town of Iba and caused at least 20 people, mostly DepEd employees, to contract the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement on Thursday, March 19, the DepEd said it tasked a fact-finding team to probe the division-initiated activity while monitoring the situation involving its teaching and non-teaching personnel.
The DepEd has also prohibited its employees from holding face-to-face seminars and training as it also directed all its division offices and schools to enforce strict health protocols.
“The DepEd Regional Office 3 shall continuously monitor the compliance of all offices and schools [with] this directive to ensure that the risks of COVID-19 transmission will be reduced if not eliminated as all teaching and non-teaching personnel continues serving in their respective stations,” it said.
About 300 DepEd personnel attended the seminars between March 1-12.
The source of the infections was a teacher who served as the guest speaker in both seminars, said Dr. Noel Bueno, provincial health director.
As of Friday, 15 DepEd employees in this province and seven workers of one of the resorts that hosted the seminar were infected with the virus.
The province now has 1,022 COVID-19 cases, 70 of which are active. INQ
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