Use of schools as isolation centers extended until June 15

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | May 21,2020 - 10:30 AM

A glimpse of the Mandaue City Central Quarantine Facility located inside the city’s central elementary school. | Photo courtesy of Councilor Nerissa Soon-Ruiz

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Local government units in Cebu province may continue to use their public schools as temporary isolation centers until June 15, 2020.

In a meeting with Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7) Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez has agreed to extend the use of the schools as isolation centers, a news release from the Capitol said.

The LGUs earlier each entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DepEd Schools Division Offices to use the schools as temporary quarantine facilities or isolation areas amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis. The MOA between DepEd and the LGUs was supposed to expire on May 31.

Garcia said the town mayors have already expressed concerns on the isolation centers since DepEd earlier announced that classes for School Year 2020-2021 may already begin on August 24.

At least 21 of the province’s 44 towns are using the schools as isolation or quarantine centers for their persons under monitoring (PUMs).

Although it will be over two months yet before the school year starts, Jimenez said the teachers will need the school earlier in June for the enrollment and the teachers’ training.

Before the schools will be opened for classes, Jimenez is also asking the  Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) to certify that the schools, although used as isolation centers, are free from the SARS-CoV2, the virus causing COVID-19, to reassure the safety of the teachers and the students.

Both DepEd-7 and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), who were represented in the meeting, committed to enforce public health protocols in the educational institutions under their agencies when classes resume.

“The DepEd is preparing the learning continuity plan that will suit our situation,” Jimenez was quoted by the Capitol. /bmjo

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TAGS: August 24, isolation centers, public schools as quarantine centers, quarantine centers, school year 2020-2021

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