40 Baguio teachers watched for COVID-19 symptoms
BAGUIO CITY—A public school teacher here, who died of COVID-19 complications last week, may have infected 40 others who attended a seminar that was held two weeks before the new school year began on Monday.
Contact tracers and epidemiologists confirmed that the 40 teachers were being monitored since they were the fatality’s close contacts, said Mischelle Junio, a data analyst of the city’s contact tracing team, in a press briefing on Wednesday.
“These teachers may have been infected just before the school opening,” Junio said, noting that they attended the activity held at a local hotel.
Unaware they could be potential carriers, the teachers have resumed their duties in their respective schools, Junio said.
A principal of a public school here, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak to reporters, confirmed on Thursday that the fatality, a 30-year-old teacher, participated in a seminar on the practical application of digitalized workbooks for students still restricted at home.
Estella Cariño, Department of Education (DepEd) director in the Cordillera, said an official and her team from the DepEd central office traveled to Baguio to conduct the four-day seminar starting Aug. 31.
She said the fatality, who was from this city, informed fellow teachers he was not feeling well on the third day of the seminar.
On their way home, a member of the central office team tested positive for COVID-19 at the border and the entire delegation has since been quarantined at Teachers’ Camp in Baguio City, Cariño told the Inquirer in a text message on Thursday.
A total of 409 residents had died from COVID-19 complications this month, with 12 of these deaths recorded on Wednesday alone.
The total number of infections in the city on Wednesday rose to 20,489, with 2,540 classified as active cases, local government data showed.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said the rising COVID cases in Baguio had started to tax both hospital and contact tracing resources.
This prompted health authorities to urge local companies, and even households, to prepare their own quarantine plans in the event a worker or a family member contracts the disease.
Families, for instance, must identify and prepare an isolation room for a household member or members who catch COVID-19, Dela Peña said in the same briefing.
He said parents must also draw up other contingency plans, such as designating a temporary head of household who will be tasked to look after minors.
Households are also being asked to write down each day’s movements and name everyone with whom they have interacted to help epidemiologists identify where the infections originated and where it could have spread. —VINCENT CABREZA
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.