DENR- Environmental Management Bureau โ€“ Region I Director, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe and 17 EMB-I personnel underwent RT-PCR (Reverse Transmission โ€“ Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing for Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) on August 26, 2020 at the DENR-Region I rooftop, Government Center, Brgy. Sevilla, City of San Fernando, La Union. Regional Director Hipe and the 17 EMB-I personnel tested negative. The swab test was administered by the Provincial Health Office Home of Hope Facility of the Provincial Government of La Union through the recommendation of the Department of Health- Region I.

The first batch of EMB I personnel who underwent RT-PCR test are EMB-I Regional Director, Engr. Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe; Supervising Environmental Management Specialists Alexander P. Almogela and Michael E. Alvear; Engineer III Ferdinand Marck C. Aquino; Senior Environmental Management Specialists EnP. Marygail Antonette N. Killa and Engr. Melecio Q. Llanes Jr.; Engineer II Rowel Lipadan; Environmental Management Specialists II Engr. Christian Bob M. Cruz, Engr. Peter Paul S. Asunto, EnP. Erwin Dave J. Nobleza, Joseph E. Cajote, and Junero-Rome A. Estolas; Planning Officer II Kamillie D. Elizares; Environmental Management Specialist I Florilyn P. Claro; Ambient Monitoring & Technical Services Section (AMTSS) staff Alvic V. Delena and Carl Vincent R. Rabanillo; and Office Support Staff (Drivers) Ferdinand D. Fenol and Ryan C. Morales.

Medical Technologist Jonalyn V. Fernandez and Nurse I Kathleen Carla Arellano from the Provincial Health Office Home of Hope Facility of the Provincial Government of La Union administered the RT-PCR test. The collected specimens were submitted for analysis to the Department of Laboratories, Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC), a duly accredited COVID-19 testing laboratory by the DOH and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). The swab test for the second batch of EMB-I personnel is scheduled on September 4, 2020.

EMB Region 1 personnel who are on field work have to cross provincial boundaries and COVID-19 check points which require a negative RT-PCR Test Result. Also staff who are assigned as frontline officers and interact with the Officeโ€™s clients/stakeholders have to be tested to ensure that they are not infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Minimum public health standards were strictly observed during the conduct of the swab test such as the use of face mask and face shield, physical distancing, and frequent hand disinfection using 70% alcohol to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.