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

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

(BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro planned power outages to darken downtown Smithers for most of day Sunday, Jan 17

Replacement of poles will affect approximately 250 customers in downtown core from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Smithers Local Health Area reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 3 - 9. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 25 in Smithers LHA Jan. 3 – 9

Northern Health reported 49 new daily cases for 497 active, 44 hospitalized, 13 in critical care

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Most Read