The car Lawrence O'Connor raced in the Duel in the Desert, a race benefitting Amnesty International. (Submitted)

First publicly confirmed COVID-19 case in Port Hardy has been isolated since before symptoms occurred

“Hopefully this particular strain will die inside of me.”

Port Hardy has its first publicly confirmed case of COVID-19.

Lawrence O’Connor shared in a Facebook post that he tested positive for the disease while in quarantine after a trip to the U.S.

“There’s nothing pleasant about this painful illness; I feel like I’ve been eaten by wolves, and s**t off a cliff,” he wrote.

The good news, if there is any, is that O’Connor has self-isolated since arriving at the Vancouver Airport Nov. 16, so there’s been no one for the B.C. Health Authority to do contact tracing with.

“I was lucky enough that I didn’t stumble around in public, not knowing I was carrying it,” he told the Gazette over the phone.

O’Connor travelled to Las Vegas to participate in a charity stock car race for Amnesty International. Planning ahead for the required 14-day traveller quarantine, he’d enlisted friends to drop off food and supplies at his door.

After a few days of hanging around the house, he started to feel body aches. By Saturday (Nov. 21) it was full on sickness. He contacted B.C. Health and scheduled a drive-through COVID-19 test for Sunday.

We’ll call within 48 hours if it’s positive, they told him. Two days passed. I’m in the clear, he thought until at hour 48-and-a-half, he got the call.

O’Connor is determined to keep the virus contained to himself, and plans to stay home even though his quarantine is technically over this weekend.

“Hopefully this particular strain will die inside of me. That’s the only way this thing will be defeated, is contact tracing and isolation.”

He was surprised to learn from the B.C. Health officer who called with the positive test news that for someone at his level of viral load, he’s only contagious for two days before and 10 days after symptoms start to show. B.C. Health confirmed that this is generally the case, but recommendations are adjusted on a case-by-case basis.

O’Connor sat beside one person on the plane from Las Vegas to Vancouver, but felt he had to insist that the CDC take his flight and seat numbers. They said they’d post it on their website, but he didn’t get the impression they were going to contact other passengers. B.C. Health does not have purview over flight contact tracing, but confirmed that 48-hours before symptom onset is the standard for regular contact tracing.

As for the stock car race, it wasn’t his best, but he’s glad that the event raised a lot of money for Amnesty International.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Jimmy Fallon joked that a woman’s 4.5-star review of a Langford jail is “the most Canadian thing you could do” in The Tonight Show Jan. 21. (Screenshot/YouTube)
VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon jokes Canadian jails are basically hotels following woman’s 4.5-star review

Woman gave handwritten card to police following stay in Langford cells

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance at Saanich staff meeting

Sidney firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

A worker covers up racist graffiti along the West Shore Parkway. (Courtesy of Anna Young)
RCMP investigating racist graffiti spotted off West Shore Parkway

Hateful vandalism is rare, says Langford bylaw enforcement

(Black Press Media file photo)
Mechanical issues blamed for Saanich car fire

‘Nothing untoward’ suspected, no injuries reported, firefighter says

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read