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
Antifaev said while the testing process at Peace Arch Hospital was “a well-oiled machine… the information that we received afterwards was incorrect from the health authority.”
That paperwork stated that a positive test required a 10-day quarantine from the test date, however, “the health nurse was saying that’s completely wrong,” Antifaev said, 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.
So, four of our family members, in #SurreyBC have tested positive for #COVID19 and have all received different instructions from #publichealth We need some consistency, please @keithbaldrey @bcndp @MikeSmythNews
— Debra Antifaev (@debantifaev) November 24, 2020
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.”
Fraser Health officials were not immediately able to comment.
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.
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