QC Traces Infections to Office Workers Bringing Virus Home

Safety measures were heightened.
Photo/s: Michale Amadeus on Unsplash

Quezon City said Monday recent COVID-19 infections in the city were most commonly transmitted from the workplace and brought home by infected employees.

According to a report by the city's Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit, of the 722 positive cases from Feb. 28 to Mar. 13, 104 cases or 14% of them occurred in workplaces with many employees.

Households remain to be the most common exposure setting, with 256 cases or 35% of the total.

"Reports showed that household transmission stems from one member of the household acquiring the virus from his workplace," said Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.

"We have instructed our departments to closely look into workplaces and check if they still adhere to our health protocols. Employers must do all they could to minimize risks among their employees, especially essential workers, so they won’t bring the virus home to their families," Belmonte added.

To prevent the spread of the virus in Quezon City's workplaces, the following safety guidelines must be followed:

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  • Establishments in Quezon City must create a dedicated COVID-19 taskforce that will implement prevention, detection contact tracing, isolation, and management strategies of their company, office, or store, if feasible.
  • Companies must provide transportation options for employees to reduce exposure during the commute.
  • Separate entrances and exits must be provided to reduce mingling of foot traffic.
  • One-way foot traffic scheme, as guided by floor markers.
  • Hand sanitizing stations and a KyusiPass contact tracing log at each entrance.
  • A no face mask and shield, no entry policy
  • Strict wearing of face masks and shields at all times.
  • Furniture and office equipment must be rearranged to provide minimum distance of two meters between each workstation.
  • If feasible, improvised dividers or acrylic barriers, especially in retail and customer-facing positions, should be installed.
  • Individual lunch breaks at desks, if practicable.
  • Eating only with employees from same department or unit, if practicable.
  • Alternative work schedules to lessen number of employees inside the establishement
  • Frequent disinfection of high-touch objects like buttons, railings, counters, and door handles.
  • Equipment used by multiple people, such as microphones, must be disinfected in between use. Use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) devices is strongly recommended.
  • Employees and personnel must wash their hands at least once per hour and after every encounter with a guest or client
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Employees with symptoms must be placed on sick leave and be barred from reporting to work. Individuals who exhibit symptoms while in the workplace should be isolated immediately.

Previously quarantined employees due to a positive COVID-19 result or had close contact with a positive case must have a certificate of completion of quarantine from their Barangay before returning to work.

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