Teachers Camp as isolation unit for Covid-19 patients
When the pandemic broke out in March, 2020, the city government led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong scouted for areas that can be used as quarantine and isolation units for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients and Dept. of Education (DepEd) which manages Teachers Camp was among the first to respond to the call.
The agency gave the imprimatur for the use of Roxas Hall, one of the old buildings in the sprawling heritage site and old landmark, as quarantine facility (QF) for returning overseas Filipino workers and general triage for people arriving to the city.
Teachers Camp which was established as a recreation area for teachers in the 1900s during the American period had been serving as a venue for educational conventions, religious retreats, sporting events and other gatherings but since the pandemic froze all these activities, its facilities were made available for what the people urgently needed at that time.
Medical Officer Dr. Maria Alice Torres recalled that in September 2020 when a surge in cases occurred, Roxas Hall was converted into an isolation facility for afflicted residents and when the city needed more isolation beds, the DepEd also allowed the use of the Superintendent’s Quarters. The OFW triage and QF was then transferred to the Benitez Hall.
After that surge, the isolation units were transferred to Quirino Hall and the OFW triage and QF was moved to Magsaysay Hall.
Before the delta variant-driven wave happened in August 2021, the city as a contingency measure added the Staff House as isolation unit and later when cases further peaked opened, again upon the go signal of DepEd, the Romulo Hall.
All these halls were closed down when the cases dwindled post-delta last Nov. 30 until the second week of January this year when the new swell started due to the omicron variant.
As cases multiplied, five buildings are now used: Roxas, Quirino, Romulo and Escoda Halls and the Staff House with a total bed capacity of 477. Magsaysay Hall continues to serve as OFW triage and QF.
Apart from Teachers Camp, other isolation facilities of the city are the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit (BCCIU) at the Sto. Niño Hospital with 353 beds and Eurotel with 60 beds for afflicted health workers.
Apart from Magsaysay Hall with 10 QF beds for OFWs, other QFs serving as holding facilities are at the Baguio Convention Center central triage, 12 beds; and Ferionni Apartment with 30 beds. – Aileen P. Refuerzo/Neil Ongchangco