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

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

The intersection of Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street, where a child was struck and injured in November 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
High-traffic Parksville intersection to get temporary 4-way stop

City staff to monitor effectiveness of traffic-calming measure at Despard and Moilliet

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Most Read