Free swab testing (drive-thru) | Marikina CESU review

What if a member of your household tested positive for COVID-19, do you know what to do next? Well, this one is one of the problems we had to face recently and I think sharing our experience may help people be more aware of things and options to do when the problem arises especially if you are living in our city - Marikina.
 
As the pandemic continues to spread and the number of infected balloons, we all try to avoid catching the virus, but still, no one is exempted as even the work from home guys get them. The bad news? One of our working household members experienced some of the symptoms of having the virus and voluntarily quarantined himself from then on. Know more about the story here..

free swab test experience
literally a drive-thru experience


One of the most important things to do even if you are unsure (but with significant symptoms) if you have the virus is to self-quarantine. In our case, he did this because he experienced a mild fever, cough, some chills, and lost his sense of taste for quite a bit.

A quick disclaimer: The processes here may vary from the experiences of others who have done the same thing since we have different situations and conditions, but, rest assured that I will try to share ours with details as much as I can.  

Most probably, he got it from their workplace since cases there were piling up too. His job is quite critical so he still needs to report to work regularly before being infected too. By the way, 4 days after he started his self-quarantine on the 2nd floor of our house, he did the swab test in a private hospital which gave the result of him indeed being positive with the SARS-CoV-2.

covid positive result
screenshot of the actual result


Well, we never have imagined this happening (who would) but we have to act fast. There are a lot of factors to think about but the first thing we taught of is calling our local government unit (LGU) for help like what are the guidelines and procedures once a household member tested positive with COVID-19.

We contacted the following simultaneously:

- Baranggay hall (we were passed around)
- Marikina City Hall
- Marikina Health Office (gave the number of the Communications and Command Center)
* The no. of the Command Center or the 161 responders is 8-646-2436 to 38

then..

- Command Center (gave the number of the City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit or CESU)
* The no. of the Marikina CESU is  8-997-1013 (Covid lab) / 0945-517-6926 / 0961-745-4848

call your local government unit
call your local government unit


This is the hardest part which we tried to contact for like 3 straight days before being successful. We were 3 different people assigned to each number - landline and both the mobile numbers. I actually called the command center back and asked if we can just visit the CESU site on the 2nd day, but, they reiterated that it is really that difficult to reach them but just try and try until your call pushes through because they act accordingly from the reports coming there..

Why are we eyeing for this option? Of course, for the safety of not only ourselves but our previous contacts, we have to be tested as well.. but a regular swab test would cost us at least P5,000 or $100 each on a decent hospital. Well, testing all of us here in this household will be costly so having it for FREE would be a big help for us especially this pandemic season.

..meanwhile, our COVID-19 patient here is in contact with the doctors of the said private hospital via phone and online - we personally buy the prescriptions accordingly. Good thing he was covered by his employer's health insurance.

online help is available
online help is available


So, after the 3rd morning of trying, our call to the 0945-517-6926 number pushed through. They will ask a few initial questions and some personal information for better contact. They may give you an email address - marikinacesu@gmail.com - for further requirements if needed. Not that long like minutes after that first exchange, a 2nd call came for the initial investigation/contact tracing. They will ask for more information about the COVID-19 patient and advised that the next call would be the scheduling of the free swab test already.

If your situation needs urgency, feel free to ask where

During these calls, you will be asked if you want to be assisted by their responder's team or drive-thru via your personal car (if possible) - we selected the drive-thru option which you won't even need to step out of it. Schedules may vary since it is done in many ways like per barangay, etc.. but thank God ours was attained after 2 working days - weekends excluded. Make sure though that you have accomplished filling out the Case Investigation Form (CIF) given either by your LGU or on-site (ask for assistance) because that is the only form you'll be needing on the testing day.

case investigation form (CIF)
case investigation form (CIF)


Swab testing that day was scheduled to begin around 9:00 AM but we came there 30 mins. early, we were one in the first 10 in line, yey!

drive thru swab testing at Marikina Hotel
drive-thru swab testing at Marikina Hotel

Important note: They accept walk-in applicants too so make sure to visit here if you are feeling any symptom(s). Just don't forget to observe proper social distancing as the number of people here tends to grow over time and they are the ones who either have direct contact with the covid-positive people or are feeling some symptom(s) already. 

The phasing was quick, before you arrive at the first station, someone will get your CIF. Upon your arrival at the said station, they will provide you the swabbing items (make sure to check if they wrote your names correctly) with your CIF back. 

swabbing items
items for swabbing


the next and last station is the swabbing area. Ready your tonsils as they are in for a challenge (lol). Kidding aside, they'll just rub the tip of the cotton to your tonsils and it's done. That simple.

swabbing area at Marikina Hotel
swabbing area

And according to their post swabbing instructions, results will be given via the following ways with the given details and reminders:

REMINDERS

- self-quarantine until your result is given
- it will take 3 to 5 days for the result to be provided

WAYS TO GET THE RESULT

- email marikinalabresults@gmail.com with your valid ID
- call 0945-517-6926 or 0956-467-0870


post swabbing reminders
post swabbing reminders

With these, I actually would like to commend our city officials for making this happen. To all the people who helped us, the front-liners in operation, and up to the heads who planned this out, a big shout out of "Thank You".

There may be some flaws when it comes to urgency and initiative, but I do appreciate the whole effort of bringing this all together. Good job, Marikina!

If you want to watch our actual experience, feel free to watch the video below.
P.S. The results were delivered at our doorsteps after 4 days.



If you cannot see the video above, click HERE for it



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Free swab testing (drive-thru) | Marikina CESU review Free swab testing (drive-thru) | Marikina CESU review Reviewed by Michael on September 04, 2020 Rating: 5

32 comments:

  1. People's experiences really do differ around the world with Covid tests. It's good you're able to get the test so conveniently.

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    Replies
    1. could not agree more. I just hope and pray that we all make it.

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  2. Here in Wisconsin the National Guard did testing pop ups and I was able to be tested because I was working during lockdown. It was a nice peace of mind that I know not everyone gets.

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  3. This is so good to know! I can't wait for all of this to be over. This information is so helpful! Thank you for sharing this.

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  4. You all did a very good job. From initiating the quarantine to having your family tested and kudos to all the front liners that helped you all get through it.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this very informative post! I'm not from Marikina but I'm glad the procedures there seem easy. Stay safe! :)

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  6. Thanks for sharing your experience with swab testing. I haven't done it yet but theres a testing center nearby where I live. Stay safe!

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  7. Wow. What an ordeal. I hope that your tests come back negative. I hope you'll keep us posted.

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  8. Mabuti pa kayo. Here in Las Pinas it's like hunger games. May the odds be ever in our favor.

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    Replies
    1. Haha! grabe naman. pero nakakagigil talaga pag naiisip ko yung mga funds na namimismanage

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  9. The experience differs all over the world. In some countries everyone and everything is positive because those governments just want to make money. It's mind boggling. Hope the victim gets better though.

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    Replies
    1. sad but thought of that too. chunks of money are being distributed and hopefully they fall on the righteous handlers

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  10. Kristine Nicole AlessandraSeptember 6, 2020 at 3:18 PM

    I am glad that you were able to get your swab tests, despite all the loopholes you had to go through. My aunt and her family all tested positive for the virus but they were tagged as positive asymptomatic. It was only my cousin's wife that showed full blown symptoms. A medical team did a house visit for their swab tests. It was pricey, but better than going to the hospital for the test. They are now on their second week of home quarantine and they are doing well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. praying for their fast recovery. But yes, if you have the means at urgent yung sitwasyon ano ba naman ang pera.. salamat sa pag share. God bless. malapit na matapos to

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  11. I am still too freaked out to even go to stores so everything is online for me now. These tests do differ depending on where you are.

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    Replies
    1. We do get out from time to time now but yeah many people still have not left there house yet - understandable

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  12. This is indeed a highly helpful article during corona virus times! Many people are looking up such info here in India too!

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    Replies
    1. I bet. Just sharing what we are experincing I guess

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  13. In the UK there are plenty of places set up, but we have not been, as we do not require one x

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    Replies
    1. well keep safe then, at least practice the extra hygiene protocols

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  14. Glad to say that this "experience" is pretty good to me that I avoided (thank God!) But you were kind to tell it closely and dispel many doubts about it.

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  15. It's good that your LGU is providing free swab testing. Unfortunately, here in Bacolod -- I believe you have to shoulder it on your own as the cases here are overwhelming. Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience and stay safe.

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    Replies
    1. Sad to hear about that but hopefully you guys are holding up there just fine

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  16. Wow what an interesting experience. We've been lucky that we've been able to stay home since March. Hubby's job sent everyone home to work early in the pandemic. 6 months later we're still here. Stay healthy.

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