Bernard and Max Trest launched COVID Reported Facebook page to crowdsource and compile exposures at workplaces, etc., that may otherwise not be being made public. (Contributed photo)

Bernard and Max Trest launched COVID Reported Facebook page to crowdsource and compile exposures at workplaces, etc., that may otherwise not be being made public. (Contributed photo)

White Rock dad, son launch online map for anonymous COVID-19 reporting

Bernard Trest said ‘COVID Reported’ initiative is about helping people protect themselves

A White Rock father who filed suit against the provincial government last fall for its COVID-19 back-to-school plan has now launched an online effort to compile “critical data that we all have a right to know about and responsibility to share,” when it comes to preventing spread of the virus.

Bernard Trest said he and his son Max started the ‘COVID Reported’ Facebook page to show where exposure events have occurred locally, as well as highlight sites where safety protocols aren’t being followed – information that Trest says authorities and places of business haven’t been sufficiently forthcoming about.

“There is a deadly virus circulating and we are being kept in the dark about critical… information about specifically where the virus is within our communities,” Trest wrote in a Jan. 3 email to Peace Arch News.

Many businesses have been refusing to publicly share information on COVID-19 exposure events at their establishments, he continued, and B.C. health authorities “essentially list absolutely nothing as if a deadly virus is not circulating in our communities.”

Trest first went public with concerns about COVID-19 safety protocols in July, in connection with B.C.’s plan to return students to class last September. In August, he was one of two parents to file suit against the ministers of health and education, seeking an injunction restraining the ministries from moving ahead with back-to-school plans that didn’t include a mandatory mask policy in classrooms or compel physical distancing amongst students within the same learning group.

That application was dismissed in October, however, Trest said others are continuing to champion the school cause.

READ MORE: B.C. Supreme Court tosses White Rock dad’s challenge of province’s school reopening plans

Meanwhile, he and Max hope to take the COVID Reported initiative Canada-wide. As of Tuesday morning, it had more than 1,500 followers.

COVID Reported, Trest said, encourages people to submit exposure tips in a private message. In addition to disclosing their own contact information (which Trest says is for verification purposes only and will not be made public), tipsters are asked to include supporting documents and details such as dates, as well as photos or screenshots of the exposure location if possible. Businesses noted violating COVID-19 safety protocols may also be reported, he said.

Trest said he and Max will endeavour to verify the tips, however, followers are encouraged to “do your own due diligence prior to making decisions based on this information.”

“We are not posting any data blindly as COVID Reported is not a ‘gossip’ type site,” Trest added.

The site will be updated daily, he said, including a map showing the reported locations, dates of exposures and how many days between the exposure and notification.

Trest said the effort is about transparency around where COVID-19 infections are occurring, and helping people protect themselves from exposure.

“We are far from out of the woods and based on what we see in other provinces, the UK, and the United States, the COVID-19 situation in BC will get much worse,” he said.

“Since the BC CDC did not create and run a COVID Alert type app and since they refuse to provide transparency, it’s up to us as citizens to do it and share critical lifesaving data.”



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

CoronavirusSurreyWhite Rock

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

Just Posted

Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)
Harvie, Kruger to represent Delta on Metro Vancouver board

Delta reps to sit on 11 of 16 standing committees and task forces

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read