By Adan Salazar

A Seattle caregiver described her futile attempt to get tested for coronavirus despite displaying all symptoms of the illness.

Writing under the Twitter handle @into_the_brush, the woman says she wanted to get tested as a precaution since she worked with elderly people, was displaying signs of the illness, and had a history of chronic bronchitis.

I live in Seattle, I have all symptoms of COVID-19 and have a history of chronic bronchitis.

“Since I work in a physical therapy clinic with many 65+ patients and those with chronic illnesses, I decided to be responsible and go to get tested. This is how that went,” she began.

What follows is a disastrous series of phone calls as the woman tries to navigate the circuitous network of healthcare bureaucracies, at the end of which she is told she does not qualify for the screening.

I called the Corona hotline, was on hold for 40 minutes and gave up.

So I looked at the CDC and Washington public health websites. They told me to see a primary care doctor, but there's no information about testing.

I called 2 primary care doctors. One told me they don't know where to get testing, and that I should not seek out testing. The other one told me to go to an urgent care or ER.

I called the Urgent Care; they also had no idea where tests are, but told me to call the hospital.

I called the hospital. They do not have tests, but transferred me to the COVID-19 hotline to "answer my questions." Since I was transferred on a medical provider line, I actually got through. Progress!

The lady with the hotline was very kind and professional and understood my concern about my own health and those at my clinic (which is currently being sanitized). However, I was told I do not qualify for testing, and I was not given a timeline or info on current resources.

So. Who does qualify? Those who have been out of the country in the last 14 days, and those who have had contact with one of the few people who have been tested and come up positive. That's it.

The only way I can get treated is if my symptoms get so bad I develop pneumonia or bronchitis, which is very likely in my case. Then I'll be in the ER and quarantined for several days while waiting for a test and for the results to come back.

She concludes by claiming she would be staying home from work, reminding everyone to “wash your hands,” and explaining to only call the coronavirus hotline if all symptoms are detected.

This is all incredibly frustrating because I am trying to do everything right in a system that punishes moments of "weakness" like taking days off.

It's also scary to know that I won't be able to get help until I need life support.

To sum up: this is not contained. No one knows what the *!# is happening. I can't work. WASH YOUR *!# HANDS.

Ah *!#! Didn't realize there was a hashtag just for lil ol' me! Check out above thread

Since this is getting attention.

COVID-19 HOTLINE: 1-800-525-0127

DON'T CALL unless you are experiencing all symptoms or have been exposed to a case. Leave the lines open to people who need it most. Any other questions can be answered on the CDC, WHO, or WA public health sites.

The woman’s unsettling anecdote comes as six people infected with coronavirus in Washington state died this week, with at least four of the deaths being linked to one nursing home in the Seattle area.


The Caldwell County News

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