Local resident shares struggle to get tested for COVID-19, problem seen nationwide

Coronavirus

NORTHEAST OHIO (WJW) — A local resident is sharing her difficult experience getting tested for COVID-19, a problem that seems to be common nationwide.

“People don’t want to wait for days to find out if they have this. It’s scary,” said the woman who asked to remain anonymous.

She said she called her doctor’s office after noticing symptoms like losing her sense of taste and smell. They suggested she get tested but couldn’t really tell her where to go.

“I said do you have to write me something. They said no, we really don’t do that. You can try CVS, you can try the Urgent Cares, you know that kind of stuff,” she recalled.

She said she struggled to get an appointment since most places were booked days out. 

“I finally found a fever clinic online, which is what UH is doing to do testing, but they were only open on Tuesday and Thursday,” she said.

While they said they couldn’t take her until Thursday, after calling around, another UH location was able to make her an appointment that day at the original site, something she said was like a fluke.

As for the process, “It was frustrating and I really honestly almost said just forget it. I’m certain that many other people have probably done the same.”

Discouragement and long turn around times for results can potentially hinder public health efforts to trace the virus.

“We can only perform contact tracing for people who we know have the disease. Right? So, yes that person will isolate but we can’t really quarantine their close contacts unless that person has a test,” said Lake County General Health’s Medical Director Dr. Sachin Patel.

While the public health organization has complied links to testing locations listed by the state in their area as well as pharmacies like CVS, Patel says testing right now is very dynamic and location dependent.

“You could have periods where you have more than adequate testing for a specific location and then you may have another location that has less than adequate testing.”

The resident says she was happy to get her results the next morning but worries others will go through similar ordeals. 

“I really kind of wish like the medical profession, in general, was all on the same page,” she said.

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