CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri and his wife tested negative for the new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, the couple’s son, made the announcement Friday evening, Aug.7 on his Facebook page.

“Thank God the two of them tested negative,” said Zubiri who had tested positive for COVID-19 twice recently.

He added the swab samples of his parents were tested in a Department of Health (DOH)-accredited laboratory of a private hospital in this city.

On Thursday, Aug. 6, the older Zubiri has ordered the temporary closure of the Provincial Capitol in Malaybalay City after the test result of one of his close-in female staff came out positive.

But the DOH in the region later corrected its findings to negative, as the female employee’s sample turned out a “false positive.”

The said employee, 42, resides in Malaybalay. Her swab sample was taken on Aug. 3.

After the result came out, she was brought to the Northern Mindanao Wellness and Reintegration Center in Barangay Casisang. She was asymptomatic or did not manifest any symptoms related to COVID-19.

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) had conducted contact tracing and advised the employee’s family and office colleagues to undergo home quarantine.

Capitol’s measures

As part of the precautionary measures, all offices at the Provincial Capitol underwent decontamination.

The PHO also conducted swab test on the 3,682 Capitol employees, according to a press statement released by the Governor’s office on Thursday.

It was not immediately known when the provincial government will resume its operations

As of Aug. 7, DOH-10 has tallied a cumulative total of 102 COVID-19 cases in Bukidnon, 98 of them returning residents, either as stranded individuals or overseas workers. Of the total, 49 are outpatients, four are still admitted, and 49 have recovered. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/

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