As the date for mass testing nears, constituents are thrown for a loop especially when Bacolod City, and Negros Occidental both announced that there would be lockdown dates.
We have compiled Frequently Asked Questions about the mass testing, and try to answer these for the reader’s convenience.
What is Time Out Weekend?
Time Out Weekend is the weekend covering 28 to 31 August when the city, and Negros Occidental will be having a targeted maas testing on symptomatic patients.
Time Out Weekend is also the nickname for “O-Plan: One-Time, Big-Time Mass Testing” which was conceptualized by provincial consultant former Congressman Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and is organized by Provincial Government.
Benitez said that the mass testing is designed to identify carriers who are not swabbed or tested because of “slow” or non-proactive testing strategy.
There are reports that Time Out Weekend will be for four days; others say two days.
Which is which?
There are two separate testing events for Bacolod, AND Negros Occidental. Bacolod’s lockdown dates are scheduled on 28 to 29 August.
On the other hand, 30 to 31 August would be the lockdown dates for Bago, Murcia, Talisay, and Silay.
How many will be tested?
Ten thousand in total will be tested, with 5,000 coming from Bacolod, and another 5,000 from Silay, Talisay, and Bago, and the town of Murcia.
They will be tested via Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests, with kits coming from national government.
How will specimens be processed?
Specimens will be processed by the five existing biolaboratories in Bacolod, and Silay.
How long will processing be?
Laboratory results will be expected within 24 to 48 hours.
Who will be chosen for mass testing?
The City Health Office will be the one to choose the 5,000 to be tested in Bacolod City based on priority guidelines from the Department of Health.
When will the testing be enforced?
Testing will be fully implementable upon the issuance of Executive Orders from the chief executives of Bacolod, and Negros Occidental.