11 Days of Quarantine During the Omicron Surge

Hi, everyone! I’m back with an update on the quarantine I referred to in my previous post. After exposure to someone who eventually tested positive for COVID-19, I developed common cold/flu symptoms and decided to self-report to our local government unit here in Pasig City.

After 10 days of quarantine, I’m here to tell you all about my experience. Maybe you’ll learn something from it to inform your own decisions as our country goes through the Omicron variant surge. Watch my vlog below, or scroll down for a few of my learnings from this.

My COVID-19 RT-PCR test came back negative, which meant I had an honest-to-goodness cold instead of the dreaded diagnosis. But instead of being released after my negative test, I had to continue until I finished 10 days in home quarantine. I also had to wait to get a clearance before I could set foot outside my condo unit, so in total it was 11 days.

The clearance was only delayed a day, but I also had to argue to get the quarantine period down to 10 days (when the national guidance was only for a 7-day quarantine for symptomatic individuals with a negative test). I also work from home, which meant I didn’t miss work days. The quarantine policy would have used up leave days if I had been expected to go to an office. My negative test result also meant I wouldn’t be able to claim any special sick leaves, or even Philhealth or SSS benefits.

In case of future COVID exposure, I probably will self-quarantine first and pay for my own test. Only if I test positive will I then submit myself to LGU isolation protocols. The only reason I self-reported as a close contact was to get assistance when quarantining, access to free testing, and hopefully facility quarantine instead of being made to quarantine with my senior citizen parents — but I didn’t really get any of those, which was sad.

I think the surge of cases over the past two weeks has really overwhelmed everything and everyone. In hindsight, I’ve decided to cut my LGU some slack; we were all probably doing the best we could.

It’s still in all our best interests to dodge getting infected in the first place, so please stay safe out there so we can keep those at home safe also.

About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in fitness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

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