MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota family is showing how easily COVID-19 can spread when someone is asymptomatic. All four of them have been quarantined for the last week.
The Engleman family confirmed two of them have COVID-19. So far the other two family members have tested negative, but the virus symptoms varied significantly within the same household.
“We were planning on going up north and then COVID-19 happened,” Nikki Engleman said.
The family of four has not left their house in over a week. It all started May 17 when Engleman’s almost 3-year-old daughter woke up congested. She had a mild fever. Engleman, a health care worker, thought it could be COVID-19.
“My heart just sank. I was like, ‘Oh no.’ I knew it could just spiral out from there really,” she said.
On the day Ari Engleman was to be tested, Nikki Engleman’s husband Drew Engleman went from feeling fine to having a fever that would reach almost 104 degrees. He would also get a cough, body aches, and shooting pain.
“At that point I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, we all probably have this. I’m sure of it,’” Nikki Engleman said.
All four family members got a COVID-19 test. Drew Engleman tested positive, but Ari Engleman did not. Nikki Engleman and her youngest daughter also tested negative for the virus.
“We all quarantined. We sent Drew to the basement. He lived in the basement for a couple of days because we were negative,” Nikki Engleman said.
But four days after those test results came in, Ari Engleman got a high fever, and was lethargic. She was retested for COVID-19. This time, she was positive. Her symptoms have lasted on and off ever since.
Health officials said it’s likely Drew Engleman was the first person in the house with true COVID-19 symptoms, and that Ari Engleman got it from him.
“As soon as she developed that fever, I knew I had to get her retested because it was a new symptom,” Nikki Engleman said.
She says their story is an example of how someone can can still be contagious for days even before they start feeling sick.
“It’s important that you’re social distancing, wearing those masks when you’re out in public, and just be safe and cautious, because he was the one who was asymptomatic,” Nikki Engleman said.
She and her daughters are required to isolate for another two weeks, but that could change if another person in the family tests positive for the virus.