Gov't agencies to ban COVID-19 quarantine in schools: DepEd

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2022 01:02 PM

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the OVP’s Swab Cab stay at the isolation facility set up at the Imelda Elementary School in Malabon City on April 16, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the OVP’s Swab Cab stay at the isolation facility set up at the Imelda Elementary School in Malabon City on April 16, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The education, interior, and budget departments will issue a joint memorandum banning the use of schools for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine, as students are set to return to their campuses in the coming school year.

"Ito (joint memorandum) ay naka-draft na so finalization na lang kami," Department of Education Spokesperson Michael Poa said in a public briefing on Tuesday. 

(This joint memorandum has already been drafted so we're in the finalization process.)

"Gusto nating masiguro na 'yong ating paaralan ay hindi magagamit as isolation facility or quarantine facility," Poa said, without specifying when the memorandum would be issued.

(We want to make sure that our schools will no longer be used as isolation or quarantine facilities.)

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Only 2 schools are still being used COVID-19 quarantine facilities while the rest only house isolation tents, Poa said.

"So we are asking the LGUs (local government units) to pull out all these isolation tents," he said.

The memorandum will also limit the use of schools as evacuation centers to 3 weeks, Poa added.

The latest DepEd data showed that some 21.2 million learners have enrolled for School Year 2022-2023, which is scheduled to start on Monday, Aug. 22.

By November, all schools are required to shift to 5 days of full in-person classes.