The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)

B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

A South Surrey woman is raising concerns over COVID-19 messaging, after receiving conflicting directions regarding isolation requirements.

Deb Antifaev told Peace Arch News she was tested for the virus on Sunday (Nov. 22) morning, after learning that several of her family members – including two of her adult children and their spouses, as well as two of her grandchildren – had all tested positive.

READ MORE: B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

However, Fraser Health officials say it is a matter of “general guidance” instructions versus follow-up on individual assessments.

Antifaev said paperwork from the collection centre stated that a positive test required a 10-day quarantine from the test date, however, “the health nurse was saying that’s completely wrong,” of information provided to her son following his positive result.

He was told “‘it’s still a 14-day quarantine, and then if your kids don’t test positive, then it’s another 14 days after your 14 days, in case they do test positive at some time.’”

“So that’s basically a month,” she said Wednesday (Nov. 25). “It’s not 10 days at all.

“If he hadn’t received a call from the head nurse (at the hospital), he would’ve gone back to work.”

Those who test negative should also isolate for a further week after their test, the nurse advised, “to make sure you don’t develop symptoms,” however, Antifaev said that that information was not on the form that she was sent home with.

“Could we just get one thing straight?” she said. “Is it 14 days? Is it 30 days? Is it from your diagnosis, or from the day we feel the symptoms? And if we’re negative, why are we still isolating? How long does it take to show up in your nose?”

Antifaev tweeted her frustration with the messaging on Tuesday (Nov. 24), pleading for consistency in the instructions.

The response it garnered was unexpected, she said.

In addition to sundry comments as well as interest from news outlets, “everyone kept retweeting it,” she said.

“Surely other people are finding the same experience. There’s a lot of confusion.”

Her husband, Todd, agreed, describing information that’s on the Fraser Health website regarding what to do as “about as clear as mud.”

“There’s no clear, concise, ‘this is it,’” he said.

“Really, the public health authority has to get their act together and give a clear direction.”

In an explanation emailed Nov. 27, Fraser Health told PAN that information distributed at the collection centres “provides general guidance,” while a case-by-case assessment “takes into account someone’s exposure to COVID-19, which can modify how long someone needs to isolate.”

“When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, Fraser Health Public Health will contact them directly with further instructions,” a spokesperson explained.

“When an individual tests negative for COVID-19 but has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or has recently travelled outside of Canada, they are asked to self-isolate for 10 days from when they started feeling sick, or 14 days from the day they were exposed or returned to Canada (whichever is longer).

“When an individual tests negative for COVID-19, has not been exposed and has not recently travelled outside of Canada, they are asked to self-isolate until they feel better.”

The Antifaevs believe their family members’ COVID-19 exposure occurred either at Peace Arch Hospital or at one of their grandchildren’s schools.

Their home is near two schools and Deb Antifaev said she has been “horrified” to watch the degree of unmasked, close interaction occurring both on and around school grounds.

“How on earth did they think it wasn’t going to spread?” she said.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusFraser HealthSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tahsis mayor Martin Davis stands with an old-growth tree in McKelvie Creek Valley. The village of Tahsis signed a Letter of Understanding with forestry company Western Forest Products to establish McKelvie watershed as a protected area. Photo courtesy, TJ Watt.
Landmark deal expected to protect Tahsis watershed from logging

Tahsis and WFP agree on letter of understanding to preserve McKelvie Creek Valley within TFL 19

Sawyer, a northern saw-whet owl that became synonymous with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, passed away peacefully over the weekend. Sawyer would make numerous public appearances with MARS staff in and around the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Photo supplied.
Popular MARS ambassador owl dies

Submitted MARS Wildlife Rescue has lost one of its mightiest ambassadors. Tiny… Continue reading

Alzheimer's Awareness
The journey continues: Dementia awareness in Campbell River

Second in a series January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s disease is… Continue reading

Those who want to view the Strathcona Regional District’s public meetings will have to do so after the fact by going to their Youtube Channel. Photo courtesy Youtube.
No live public option for SRD meetings again

Public Health Order says governments must make ‘best efforts’ to give public a live option

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
3-in-4 Canadians in favour of banning interprovincial travel: Poll

According to Research Co., 80 per cent of Canadians would like to see restrictions imposed

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Along with sales, the average price of homes is also predicted to rise, by nearly 8 percent

Most Read