A Williams Lake woman who contracted COVID-19 said she tested negative first and then positive four days later. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A Williams Lake woman who contracted COVID-19 said she tested negative first and then positive four days later. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake COVID survivor shares experience

‘Self-isolate if you’ve come in contact with someone who tests positive,’ said Jodi Cutway

A Williams Lake woman who contracted COVID-19 is stressing the need to self-isolate if you have been exposed to someone who tests positive.

“I was exposed to it by a family member on Dec. 31 who did not know he’d been exposed,” Jodi Cutway told Black Press Media. “He found out on New Year’s Day that he was around someone who tested positive.”

Immediately her family, including her 16-year-old son, decided to isolate because they had been exposed and did not want to risk passing it on.

Soon afterwards Interior Health (IH) called and also instructed them to self-isolate.

They were tested on Jan. 4 and the results were negative, but on Jan. 6, Cutway began getting symptoms.

She tested positive on Jan. 8.

“A lot of people don’t understand that. They think if they get a negative response they can go back to work, but if you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive stay home for 14 days. It takes 14 days for those symptoms to show up. I think that’s why it is spreading.”

Read more: Bella Coola family shares COVID-19 experience to help fight stigma associated with virus

Her husband, tested positive, but had very mild symptoms.

“He was hot and cold and bit sore on the 10th, but has been fine ever since, but not me,” Cutway said.

Describing her experience, she said she started out with a ‘huge’ headache from ear to ear and through her nose.

It then moved into her throat and down to her lungs and eventually back to her throat.

“When I was at my worst I was tired and so fatigued. My chest was so heavy, but I couldn’t cough it out. It’s not like when you have a cold where you can cough up the mucus. This sits on your lungs.”

To relieve the pressure on her chest, she slept on her stomach every night, after she received an article from a friend that outlined things to do when you have COVID-19.

Isolating in her bedroom by herself for the 16 days, she ventured out onto the deck off the bedroom or opened up the French doors a few times, but she did not want to risk getting cold air in her lungs.

Breathing and walking to get air flow through the lungs is also advised, but Cutway found she was exhausted after she tried doing that. She said her sense of taste and smells were weakened a bit, yet never disappeared completely.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19 at midnight she was released from her quarantine.

“I was advised that for 90 days, I should be immune from getting it again and immune from passing it to anybody, but I’m still going to wear my mask and sanitize.”

Crediting IH for being ‘phenomenal,’ during the entire time, she said they called her six times.

“They were trying to find out where the source was, who I was in contact with, and they gave me advice on why I should be isolating.”

Read more: Non-essential travellers to pay mandatory test, hotel costs as Trudeau announces new COVID rules


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