Health workers, seniors and persons with comorbidities priority for Covid testing
The Department of Health issued an advisory prioritizing the conduct of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing among health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities amid the surge of cases believed to be driven by the omicron variant.
City Health Services Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said the city has to follow the DOH guideline on testing prioritization where symptomatic health care workers are allowed to use antigen test to confirm their health status when Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) is not available.
Galpo explained priority testing for health care workers is being done for surveillance purposes to plan for adequate health system capacity.
For senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, COVID-19 testing is a priority to confirm infection of the vulnerable sector and to know if investigational drugs can be given. Antigen testing is encouraged only when symptomatic and when RT-PCR is not available.
The rest of the population with no symptoms, testing is only done to confirm COVID-19 after exposure to a positive case. The DOH says testing is optional if no symptoms but quarantine is advised and as well as monitoring of symptoms.
For the rest of the population with COVID-19 symptoms, testing is still optional to confirm health status after onset of symptoms but isolation as soon as possible is advised including home care and teleconsultation.
In summary, only health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities should undergo COVID-19 testing while the rest of the population have the option to have themselves tested or not but home quarantine and home isolation is encouraged if declared close contact or with symptoms. – Jessa Samidan/PIO Baguio