Is it just my imagination or are COVID testing and contract-tracing protocols getting creepier and more intrusive by the hour? PJ Media was contacted on Monday by a family in Northern Virginia who said their child was tested for COVID-19 earlier in the day as part of pre-admission screening for a scheduled procedure. Thirty hours after the test, the parents still had not received test results from the hospital where the test was performed. But the parents, who wish to remain anonymous to protect their health information, have been contacted by bureaucrats from both the D.C. and Virginia health departments, who apparently get access to the test results before the patients/parents do.
The child in question, who is two years old and has special needs, was tested at Children’s National Hospital in the District of Columbia. Six hours later, the mother received a cryptic text message from the Virginia Department of Health suggesting that the child, who is asymptomatic, had tested positive for COVID.
“The Virginia Health Department of Health received information about your 11/15/21 COVID-19 test,” the message said. “Stay home and stay away from other people to stop COVID-19 spread.”
The mother was instructed to use the COVIDWISE app to “anonymously notify your close contacts.”
Had the child tested positive or was this a routine text that was sent to everyone who was tested for COVID? The parents weren’t sure what any of it meant.
Early Tuesday morning, the mother received a call from D.C. Health. A bureaucrat identified herself and asked if she knew the reason for the call. The mother said she didn’t and was told, “I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your son tested positive for COVID.” She then proceeded to interrogate the mother about their recent activities, requesting the name of their church, which she declined to provide. The family was instructed to isolate at home until Thanksgiving and told that the child, who cannot care for himself, should “technically isolate from us,” said the mother. “She said the Virginia Department of Health might call and want to monitor him.”
“She was nice about it, but it was still very overwhelming for the government to call and tell you what to do with your child,” the mother told PJ Media.
After hanging up with D.C. Health, she called the department where the child was scheduled for the medical procedure and was informed that a positive COVID test had been noted in his chart. Thinking it was probably a false positive, she asked if he could be retested the day of the procedure but was told that they didn’t want to risk him bringing the virus into the hospital. They rescheduled his appointment for early December, and—get this—he will not be required to present a negative COVID test before admission to the hospital.
PJ Media reached out to Children’s National Hospital, the Virginia Department of Health, and D.C. Health to ask if it’s standard procedure to notify government officials of one’s COVID-19 status before the patient is informed but received no response.
Perhaps this is just a one-off, but it raises troubling questions about privacy related to COVID-19 testing protocols and about the competency of those administering the tests. Why are they more concerned with notifying health bureaucrats than the parents whose child has tested positive for the virus? Is it really any of the government’s business to begin with? We’ve been lectured for years by pro-abortion activists that healthcare decisions should be kept between a woman and her doctor. But all that’s gone out the window now that health bureaucrats have been empowered to spy on individuals in their jurisdictions. And now that they’ve been given this extraordinary power, don’t expect them to relinquish it anytime soon. It will be used for the next health crisis, and perhaps even for routine illnesses like the flu in the future.