ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE

Isolation

separates infected individuals from people who are not ill.

Quarantine

limits the movement of individuals who may have been exposed to an infected person as a precautionary measure.

Local Isolation and Quarantine

Per DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2020-064, local chief executives are directed to identify government facilities that may be temporarily converted into isolation and quarantine facilities for the management of local COVID-19 cases. These facilities shall then be consolidated by the Resource Management and Logistics Group of the National Task Force.

The DOH-DILG Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-0001 provides comprehensive guidelines on establishing Local Isolation and General Treatment Areas for COVID-19 cases or LIGTAS COVID Centers.

The provincial government shall manage the establishment of all LIGTAS COVID Centers under its territorial jurisdiction, in coordination with the component local government units. The City Government can take on this management role in the case of highly urbanized or independent cities.

These isolation and quarantine centers as well as other step-down facilities designed to decongest hospital capacity should also be integrated in the local referral system for a smooth health service delivery.

🏥 Space

This can a permanent or temporary structure equipped with utilities and basic amenities where patients can have a dedicated individual room with its own toilet and bath, or in case of room sharing, beds shall be spaced at least 2 meters apart, preferably with a divider between.

Shared toilets and baths shall be cleaned and disinfected by staff wearing the appropriate PPEs at least two times a day. Patients using shared toilets and baths shall be trained and assisted in cleaning and disinfection immediately after each use.

All dedicated or shared spaces should be well-ventilated with natural or mechanical or hybrid ventilation.

Self-Isolation at Home

In case of a surge and government isolation facilities are at maximum capacity, individuals can self-isolate at home. The following guidelines are recommended by the American College of Emergency Physicians for this purpose:

  • Avoid social gatherings at all costs.
  • Ensure that other household members stay in a separate room.
  • Observe proper hygiene practices such as the washing of hands frequently and covering of mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing.
  • Allot a separate trash bin for PPEs and other consumed hygiene items.
  • Avoid sharing personal and household items.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those near the proximity of the individual under self-isolation. Wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting and dispose of them immediately after use.

🔍 From the Ground: Local practices on Isolation and Quarantine

The City Government of Cagayan de Oro established a total of 25 City Isolation Units and 7 Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMF) that allowed them to manage potential and confirmed COVID-19 patients. Hotels, inns, and other accommodation establishments were rented by the local government to augment their available quarantine facilities. Each of these facilities are attended by the health personnel needed for the proper monitoring of the patients.

The City Government of Iloilo provided four quarantine facilities for its constituents. Two of these were built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The most recently constructed facility can accommodate 16 patients and has a nurse’s station, a sanitation area, and living quarters for medical staff. Another facility is an old hospital that could cater to mild symptomatic patients and the third is the Baluarte Elementary School where they housed Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF). These facilities provided services alongside the city’s other health centers which addressed the medical needs of both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.

Citations:

  • Department of the Interior and Local Government, Provincial/City/Municipal Special Care Facilities and Isolation Units amid the COVID-19 Pandemic (March 29, 2020), Memorandum Circular No. 2020-064
  • Guidelines on Local Isolation and General Treatment Areas for COVID-19 cases (LIGTAS COVID) and the Community-based Management of Mild COVID-19 cases (April 15, 2020), Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-0001
  • “Self-isolation”, American College of Emergency Physicians, https://www.acep.org/corona/covid-19-field-guide/home-safety/self-isolation/