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

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Rossland City Council issued a press release critical of Mayor Kathy Moore's travel to the U.S.
Rossland council addresses issue of mayor’s travel to U.S.

Prior to her trip, some councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans

Trail police provided an April 6 media update on the case. Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP identify suspicious truck

The pickup was reported to be fitted with police-like lights on the grill

Photos: Ron Wilson
Nesting in the Silver City

If you have a recent photo to share email it (large/actual-size) to editor@trailtimes.ca

Teck has reported three separate incidents of ammonia leaks at Trail fertilizer ops this year. Photo: Trail Times
Teck Trail reports third ammonia leak this year

The company closed Bingay Road temporarily as a precaution

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read