LGU-San Emilio creates COVID-19 contact tracing team

SAN EMILIO, Ilocos Sur — The local government unit (LGU) of San Emilio created its Municipal Contact Tracing Team (CTT) that shall identify and monitor suspected persons with known exposure and contact to confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases to mitigate the possibility of contagion.

Mayor Joey Warren Bragado issued Executive Order No. 17 s. of 2020 on April 14 organizing the Municipal CTT led by Police Lieutenant Joel Dasargo, chief of police, as the team leader and Dr. Shirley Luna, municipal health officer, as co-team leader.

Members are composed of representatives from the Municipal Police Station, Municipal Health Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, a barangay health worker, barangay health emergency response team member, and barangay public safety officer.

The CTT is responsible to undergo related trainings on contact tracing and in identifyingthose in touch with positive patients, maintaining strict adherence to self-quarantine and monitoring the status of positive cases, persons under investigation and persons under monitoring.

The order said the team is also tasked to conduct expanded testing based on the order of priority. 

Due to the increased demand for testing, first priority will be given to all patients, including medical professionals and health workers who show severe to critical symptoms of COVID-19, who have known travel history or who have been in touch with a confirmed patient.

In the second priority are medical professionals and health care workers with mild symptoms and known exposure to a positive patient; and patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 who are identified as high-risk with pre-existing medical conditions and/or are members of vulnerable groups (senior citizen, a pregnant woman with co-morbidities) and with known travel history or contact with a positive patient.

The third priority includes all asymptomatic medical professionals and health workers but with known exposure to a positive patient, and all asymptomatic patients with known travel history or contact to a positive patient.

The order also said that the CTT shall submit a status report to the Municipal COVID-19 Task Force which will send a regular action report to the Provincial and Regional Task Forces at 2:00 p.m. covering the time from 12:00 noon on the previous day to 12:00 noon on the same day.

Likewise, it shall strictly follow the Guidelines on the Conduct of the Expanded Testing Procedures for COVID-19 under Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2020-073 and Department of Health Memorandum No. 2020-0151 Interim Guidelines on Expanded Testing for COVID-19. 

Further, funds for the various contact tracing activities shall come from the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management fund; 20 percent development fund; and other LGU source of fund that allows such appropriation and utilization subject to Commission on Audit rules and regulations.