Due to the declining number of COVID-19 active cases (2 as of March 31, 2022) and high vaccination rate of 129% of the target population (posting the highest vaccination rate in Central Visayas) or 139, 248 of its residents and workers, Dumaguete City has now been placed under the lowest classification Alert Level 1 by National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Both Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo and City Health Officer Dr. Maria Sarah B. Talla welcome this development but still advise the public to remain vigilant and strictly observe the minimum health standards to prevent COVID-19 infection.
Dumaguete City is the only Local Government Unit that was placed under Alert Level 1 among the 25 LGUs in the Province of Negros Oriental.
Other cities and towns and even the province will transition from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 if they meet the criteria for de-escalation as provided in Resolution No. 165 of the National IATF-MEID.
Based on the National IATF guidelines as of February 28, under Alert Level 1, there are no restrictions in terms of indoor and outdoor capacities for business establishments and everyone can undertake intrazonal and interzonal travel without regard to age and even comorbidities.
On the other hand, face-to-face classes for primary education shall be subject to prior approval of the Office of the President.
The following are the other protocols to be observed under Alert Level 1:
ON THE OPERATIONAL CAPACITY OF ESTABLISHMENTS
All private offices and workplaces, including public and private construction sites, may operate at full 100% capacity. However, they may continue to provide flexible and alternative work arrangements.
Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall likewise adhere to 100% on-site workforce.
Establishments are no longer required to set up isolation facilities within the workplace.
ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Public transportation shall be at full seating capacity.
For intrazonal and interzonal travels involving public land transportation between an area with higher alert level classification and an area under Alert Level 1, the passenger capacity shall be that which has the lower passenger capacity rate between the point of origin and point of destination.
For aviation, maritime and rail public transport operating in and out of Alert Levels 1 areas, the passenger capacity will be at 100%
Use of acrylic and/or plastic dividers in public transportation shall NOT be required.
Use of the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) travel management system shall NOT be required for interzonal travel to areas under Alert Level 1.
ON HEALTH PROTOCOLS IN ESTABLISHMENTS
Well-fitted mask should be worn properly at all times, whether outdoors or in indoor private/public establishments, including public transportation –
EXCEPT WHEN:
Participating in team and individual sports in venues where ventilation standards can be maintained
Use of health declaration forms/paper-based contact tracing shall NOT be required for all agencies and establishments.
Digital contact tracing such as the StaySafe.PH application is OPTIONAL for all the agencies and establishments.
ON HEALTH PROTOCOLS IN ESTABLISHMENTS
Use of foot baths, disinfection tents, misting chambers, or sanitation booths for preventing and controlling COVID-19 transmission are NOT recommended.
Temperature checking prior to entry in an establishment may be OPTIONAL.
The Safety Seal Certification Program of the national government to show compliance with minimum public health standards is OPTIONAL.
ON COVID-19 TESTING
Testing protocols shall be implemented, consistent with national guidelines, for individuals who are unvaccinated or have higher exposure risk (pursuant to IATF Resolution NO. 148-B and No. 149, s. 2021
Testing using RT-PCR shall be recommended and prioritized for:
• Priority Group A2 (persons above 60 years old)
• Priority Group A3 (persons with comorbidities)
• Priority Group A1 (healthcare workers)
Testing shall be optional for other groups not stated above.
Testing shall not be recommended for asymptomatic close contacts unless symptoms will develop, and should immediately isolate regardless of test results.
Testing using antigen tests shall be recommended ONLY for symptomatic individuals and in instances wherein RT-PCR is not available, consistent with previously issued guidelines.
Updated quarantine protocols for incoming international travelers shall be consistent with IATF Resolution No. 160 A/B, and updated isolation and quarantine protocols for the general public, healthcare workers and authorized sectors shall be consistent with DOH Dept Memo No. 2022-0013.
ON COVID-19 TREATMENT
Close contacts, asymptomatic confirmed cases, and mild to moderate confirmed cases shall be managed at the primary care level, such as health centers, private clinics through face to face or tele-consultation.
Confirmed cases with severe and critical symptoms shall be managed in the appropriate health care facility.
In the case of reintegration, isolation can be discontinued upon completion of the recommended isolation period, provided that they do not have fever for at least 24 hours without the use of any antipyretic medications, and shall have improvement of respiratory signs and symptoms.
For the purpose of claiming sick leave, health benefits, or other relevant processes wherein the proofs of COVID-19 management are necessary, medical certification may suffice provided it should include the following minimum information: name of the patient, the severity of symptoms, diagnosis as probable or confirmed COVID-19, and date of the end of quarantine and/or isolation period.
ON SHOWING PROOF OF COVID-19 VACCINATION:
Individuals 18 years old and above will be required to present proof of full vaccination before participating in mass gatherings or entry into indoor establishments, such as but not limited to:
In-person religious gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased.
All indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries. For outdoor or alfresco dining and take-out channels, no proof of full vaccination is required.
Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for exercise and sports.
All indoor cinemas or movie houses operating at full capacity.
Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibition events, and permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers.
Venue with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters;
Indoor ancillary establishments in hotels and other accommodation establishments.
Venues for election-related events.