BOTTINEAU, N.D. — Erin Conroy, an attorney with Conroy Legal Services in Bottineau, had taken a trip with her 16-year-old son to Winter Park, Colo., in late February. Her son qualified for the Rocky Center National Championship and has his sights on participating in the Olympics.
The trip went well, and she returned March 9. Eight days later, she learned from a local leader and from a press conference on March 17 with Gov. Doug Burgum that she was supposed to be in self-quarantine due to possible contact with the coronavirus.
“I get that it’s a virus and it’s impossible to completely isolate yourself. I think the frustration for me isn’t that it’s eight days later; I feel like I’ve been shamed a little bit,” Conroy said.
After she returned, she went back to work. Nobody told her to stay home, she said. Nobody checked her health, her temperature, or offered advice. Another child of hers recently was diagnosed with diabetes, an underlying condition, which also worries her.
“We’ve been back for eight days; why didn’t someone reach out to us or give us more information? Now I am being told I have to self-quarantine,” Conroy said.
The Colorado resort has been updating her, and so far, no one from the event has tested positive for COVID-19, she said.
“I trust them more than I trust our department of health, which is sad,” Conroy said.
Conroy wants herself and her family to be tested. Her situation, she said, is different because she’s already spent eight days in public spaces.
“We need testing. For the family. It’s not just us, there were other people from this area who were at those events. Here I felt like I did my due diligence as a citizen and self reported and instead of that information being helpful to me, and surrendering that personal information, all I got was 'here are directions on how to take your temperature,' and 'good luck.'
“Well, I got a diabetic in the house, and I have employees and staff, and I am frustrated.”
Not everyone can get tested yet, and the state’s health department is focusing on those showing symptoms.
“We’re broadening the testing locations, and getting more tests into the marketplaces is something we’re working hard to do,” Burgum said during a March 17 press conference.
For now, most people need to stay at home, work from home and practice social distancing, he said.
Mylynn Tuffte, State Health Officer, said during the same press conference that she had heard of the skiers coming back from Colorado.
“We have been informed that the Colorado ski resort had no community spread, and that’s why we’re wanting to make sure that they self isolate and they report into the Department of Health at that international travel or other travel sites so we can record those individuals and monitor them effectively,” Tufte said.