10 People Who Tried to Get Tested for COVID-19 and Were Turned Away
As these folks discovered, symptoms might not be enough to secure a coronavirus test.
While the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, the true number of individuals infected with COVID-19 remains a mystery. However, it's not just the symptoms—many of which can also be attributed to other health issues, like bronchitis and the flu—that make it such a difficult illness to diagnose. In fact, for many people, it's the limited access to the test itself that keeps them from receiving the treatment they need. To shed light on this unfortunate reality of the current pandemic, we've rounded up the following stories shared by individuals who tried to get tested for coronavirus, but—for one reason or another—came up short.
1. The woman whose pneumonia wasn't enough to get her a test
I have been sick for three weeks and have been diagnosed with bronchitis and walking pneumonia today I learned I have been exposed to #COVID19 but yet because my symptoms are not severe enough I can't get a test.
— Serving Up Cupcakes (@servingupshade) April 1, 2020
Despite being exposed to COVID-19 and having already been diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia, Twitter user @servingupshade revealed that she wasn't initially able to receive a test because her symptoms weren't considered serious enough.
2. The roommates that doctors wouldn't "waste a test" on
So you're telling me a TIGER can get tested for covid-19 but when both my roommate and I are showing symptoms we're told that doctors aren't going to "waste a test on us" https://t.co/3ltt39tIUl
— paige (@epaiged) April 6, 2020
After hearing the story of Nadia, the 4-year-old tiger at the Bronx Zoo who tested positive for COVID-19, Twitter user @Paiged revealed her own story of attempting to get tested. Despite showing symptoms consistent with the coronavirus, Paige tweeted that she and her roommate were told that medical professionals weren't going to "waste a test" on them.
3. The woman who still couldn't get tested after two weeks of showing symptoms
Day 15 with COVID-19 symptoms and I still can't get a test.
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) April 4, 2020
Even a prolonged period of illness doesn't necessarily mean you can secure COVID-19 testing. Twitter user Amee Vanderpol revealed that, despite having symptoms for 15 days, she was still unable to secure a test for herself. And if you're worried about your health, make sure you know these 10 Things That Increase Your Risk of Coronavirus Complications.
4. The man whose shortness of breath wasn't enough to warrant a test
I was sick 3 weeks ago and still have shortness of breath — so doc referred me to @MGHMedicine' coronavirus clinic, hoping to get a test. I was denied because I'm mostly a-symptomatic & don't meet the criteria.
Hub of the medical universe & you can't get a COVID-19 test. SMH
— Simón Ríos (@simonfrios) April 3, 2020
While you'd think that experiencing shortness of breath during a pandemic might qualify you for medical care, Twitter user Simón Ríos revealed that even a trip to a coronavirus clinic wasn't enough to get him a test since he was largely asymptomatic.
5. The woman who was diagnosed with COVID-19 without a positive test
It's semi-official, I have COVID-19. Can't get properly tested because of the limited test kits in my area, but the doctor concluded this morning that we need to assume I have it until proven I don't. Feeling sick as a dog today and will still likely be unable to stream for a bit
— thequietestgirl (@thequietestgir1) April 7, 2020
Though Twitter user @thequietestgirl1 had her coronavirus diagnosis confirmed by her doctor, she wasn't able to obtain an actual test for the virus. "The doctor concluded this morning that we need to assume I have it until proven I don't." And if you want to reduce your own chances of developing the virus, make sure to ditch these 15 Seemingly Innocuous Habits That Increase Coronavirus Risk.
6. The man whose severe symptoms weren't severe enough
I don't understand medicine in the US. Early February I had the seasonal flu: coughing, pain in my chest, fever, felt like I was dying. Was it COVID-19? no idea. Guess what? because I currently don't have severe symptoms I can't get a test.
— Alex Mor (@alexmormusic) April 7, 2020
Musician Alex Mor was diagnosed with a lung infection and prescribed steroids after experiencing severe upper respiratory symptoms for three weeks. While his symptoms—which also included fever and chest pain—largely subsided except for a lingering cough, he says he was denied coronavirus testing because his current symptoms aren't severe enough.
7. The woman being treated for coronavirus without a positive test
I am currently being treated for COVID-19. I was told they couldn't test me, however, I have all of the symptoms. Including chest pain and cough. So I can't really get up and try, or get a job right now. I need tto be paid for my work to move forward. @Apple
— Tara Mikenas (@Tara51749065) April 1, 2020
While Twitter user Tara Mikenas is currently being treated for COVID-19, she's doing so without ever receiving a positive coronavirus test. Unfortunately, Mikenas describes her symptoms, including a cough and chest pain, as being severe enough that they're keeping her from working.
8. The man who spent a month trying to secure a test
#AskGovDeWine @MikeDeWine I've been sick for close to a month, first with Covid-19 like symptoms, then with pneumonia, which I suspect was caused by the initial virus. I have found no place to get a test yet. I live in Columbus, and I still can't find a test. Is there a plan?
— Nathan Jackson (@JDetan) April 2, 2020
Despite developing a respiratory illness and subsequent pneumonia, Twitter user Nathan Jackson says he still can't find a coronavirus testing site in his local area, asking his followers, "Is there a plan?"
9. The woman put under quarantine despite never receiving a test
Twitter user @collard_greens had symptoms severe enough to be put under doctor-mandated COVID-19 quarantine, but still hasn't received an actual test for the illness.
10. The woman who was told she would only be tested if she could "barely breathe"
Twitter user Morgan Da Costa detailed a long list of coronavirus symptoms—including a loss of taste and smell, skin sensitivity, headaches, and fever—to her followers, but was told by her doctor they still weren't enough to obtain a test. "My doctor said they won't test you unless you can barely breathe," she grimly explained. And if you want to protect yourself, make sure you ignore these 15 Coronavirus Myths You Need to Stop Believing, According to Doctors.