ADVISORY on RT-PCR Testing

Tabuk City Covid-19 RT-PCR testing Laboratory

With the surge of Covid-19 cases in the city and the province as a whole and not to discount the possibility of the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant, Omicron, there is a need to update previous testing protocols to maximize resources and to ensure continued availability of health and essential services. As stipulated in the provisions of Department Memo No. 2022-0013, “Updated Guidelines on Quarantine, Isolation and Testing for Covid-19 Response and

Case Management for the Omicron Variant”, TESTING PRIORITIZATION for Tabuk City Covid-19 RT-PCR Testing Laboratory will now be as follows:

  1. Testing, especially using RT-PCR, shall be recommended and prioritized for instances where the result of testing will affect clinical management. Specifically, this will include those who are at risk for developing a severe disease such as Priority Groups A2 (persons above 60 years
    old) and A3 (persons with comorbidities).
  2. Testing, especially using RT-PCR, shall also be recommended and prioritized for groups at the highest risk for infection such as Priority Group Al or healthcare workers as deemed necessary.
  3. 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.
  4. Testing shall be optional for other groups not stated above, including for community-level actions wherein case management of probable and confirmed cases remains the same. Specifically:
    1. Testing shall NOT be recommended for asymptomatic close contacts. Instead, symptom monitoring is recommended. Should testing still be used, testing should be done at least 5 days from the day of last exposure. 
    2. Testing shall NOT be recommended for screening asymptomatic individuals.

Please be guided accordingly.

Signed:

Dra. Henrietta S. Bagayao, MD, MPH, CESE
City Health Officer