Locking down an entire condominium floor if one tenant tests positive for COVID-19 is one possible course of action for authorities under a new quarantine system that targets small areas instead of entire cities or regions, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday. If it is found that the COVID-19 case "went around the floor and talked to people", that entire level of the building could be locked down, said Interior Usec. Jonathan Malaya.
A floor-wide lockdown "is not automatic" with one COVID case found, Usec. Malaya said. "Once a positive case is found by the local goverment, immediately, as part of the standard operating procedures, contact tracing has to happen."
Earlier, Metro Manila Council chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said that a single case can trigger a lockdown of the entire floor. "So if it is determined that an individual [tests positive], then that would require shutting down, or locking down the entire floor," Usec. Malaya said, clarifying Mayor Olivarez's statement.
If the COVID-positive resident did not interact with others on their floor, it will not require the shutting of an entire floor. Contact tracing will determine if the granular lockdown should be narrowed or expanded to nearby areas.
Usec. Malaya reiterated that granular lockdowns would be be implemented without warning. This is also why under the alert level systems, the local government, not the national government, will determine the scope of granular lockdowns, he said. Based on IATF guidelines, granular lockdowns will be declared on individual houses, residential buildings, streets blocks, puroks, subdivisions, and villages or barangays for 14 days, where one household member has been confirmed,
Metro Manila, which is under pilot implementation of the new alert level systems, is under alert level four until September 30, 2021. The rest of the country follows the community quarantine system.