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)

South Surrey woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

Fraser Health says initial instructions are ‘general guidance,’ follow-up is case-by-case

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 Nov. 22, 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.”

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 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

rcmp
South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

The Da Vinci Experience is scheduled to open at Tsawwassen Mills (5000 Canoe Pass Way) in June, with early bird tickets for shows July 15 to Aug. 15 on sale now. (Submitted photo)
‘Immersive art experience’ in Tsawwassen to showcase work of Leonardo Da Vinci

The Da Vinci Experience to open at Tsawwassen Mills in June, early-bird tickets on sale now

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Thousands have converged in Whonnock Lake Park to enjoy the nice weather. (Roxanne Hooper/The News)
Thousands enjoy B.C. park with warnings about social distancing

Portable toilets installed in anticipation of nice weather

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read