Teacher tests positive for COVID-19; school closed for disinfection

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2020 05:59 PM

MANILA — The Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) said Wednesday the president of its Metro Manila chapter tested positive for the new coronavirus, prompting a lockdown at the school where he works.

Ildefonso "Nono" Enguerra III, president of the TDC-National Capital Region Teachers' Union, underwent a swab test last July 22 after experiencing symptoms of the respiratory disease, the teachers' group said in a statement.

Prior to the swab test, Enguerra was asked to report physically to his workplace at Manuel A. Roxas Senior High School in Manila, along with around 30 other teachers, the TDC said.

The TDC said the teachers went to the school last July 14 to accomplish a performance rating and undergo training on the use of Google Classroom.

"After several days, he felt some symptoms of the dreaded disease including fever, cough, sore throat and loss of smell and appetite," the TDC said, referring to Enguerra, who is now under home quarantine in Marilao, Bulacan.

"A number of teachers from his school also reported the same symptoms. The school is now on a lockdown until August 3 for disinfection," the group said.

In a Facebook post, the school said it was closed for disinfection until Aug. 3 but did not make reference to the COVID-19 case. 

 

The TDC reiterated its demand that the DepEd act on reports that some field officials were requiring teachers to physically report to schools.

"Unfortunately, it seems that the DepEd leadership is not exerting enough effort to minimize the exposure of teachers to the dreaded virus by not acting on these reports," the group said.

The group added it received a report that some 20 teachers in Quezon province were put in isolation after being exposed to a colleague who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Last week, the TDC submitted to the DepEd an initial list of school division offices which have jurisdiction over schools that required teachers to physically report to their campuses.

The education department has said teachers are not required to physically report to offices under its alternative work arrangements.

"It is reiterated... that physical reporting to the workplace [or] onsite is not mandatory, and shall be done in consultation with the personnel," Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said in a memorandum dated June 24.