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)

B.C. 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 (Jan. 5), 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

South Cariboo Recreation Centre. Jen Blyth photo
CRD to apply for grant to install high-def cameras, audio at ice arenas for streaming

The cost of the project is estimated at $250,000 for installation at all three recreation facilities

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in South Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

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

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Most Read