‘No tests’: AP reporter trying to get Covid-19 test sent from pillar to post by health authorities, told to ‘stay home’ on Twitter
Peoples tweeted on Friday that he had been experiencing “mild symptoms” — a headache, mild fever and cough — but that when he arrived at his primary care center in north Jersey, they told him to go to the emergency room instead.
I'm presenting mild symptoms (headache, mild fever, mild cough) and want to get tested in north Jersey. Primary care tells me to go to ER. ER tells me to call city health dept. Health dept tells me to go to urgent care. Urgent care tells me to go to ER. Everyone says no tests.— Steve Peoples (@sppeoples) March 13, 2020
Off he went, only to find no more clarity from the ER, as staff there told him to call the city health department. The wild goose chase continued, as Peoples was instructed by the health department to go to an urgent care center — which then advised him to go back to the ER.
The one consistent thing, however, was that “no tests” for Covid-19 were available anywhere — and evidently no one knew what to do with the journalist, who was haphazardly directed from one location to another potentially spreading the virus as he went, according to his own twitter message.Also on rt.com No word on test: Trudeau tells Canadians he has ‘no symptoms & feeling good’ after wife tests positive for Covid-19
Reaction to Peoples’ fruitless search for a coronavirus test varied, with some angry at the lack of clarity in the US healthcare system, while others were angry at the reporter for “overreacting” when he should “stay home”instead.
“You shouldn't get tested. Self quarantine and ride out your cold. This is what the problem is. People get a sniffle and they panic,” one person wrote.
If you have mild symptoms, what do you need a test for? Stay home, get better, and don’t spread anything. Don’t spread panic when it’s not needed.— d_enq (@Coug_Enq) March 13, 2020
Meanwhile, some confirmed they had experienced a similar lack of clarity regarding testing, with one saying it's "basically impossible" to find a test, regardless of circumstances.
One person claimed an acquaintance had a similar experience when trying to get a test for a boy "with major lung issues" and who was suffering shortness of breath, but none were available.
Similar stories have been cropping up all over Twitter in recent days. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wrote on March 3 that he had been given the "run-around" by the CDC when he developed "all the right symptoms" for Covid-19 after returning from Hong Kong early in January.
Can confirm, I called on behalf of someone yesterday. It's basically impossible to get a test, there is no clear path to a test. They've made it impossible— Basically Blue (@WWhitness) March 13, 2020
Meanwhile, they are sending sick people all over the damn city😷🦠🥃.— LibTee 🌊🌈 (@LibTee) March 13, 2020
On a lighter note, one commenter made a jibe at Donald Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, suggesting that Peoples’ story “can’t be true” because the president said that “everyone can get perfect, beautiful tests” if needed.
Another sarcastically advised Peoples to go to Madison Square Garden, where the NBA “seems to have an endless supply of tests available offering immediate results” — a reference to the ease with which tests can seemingly be found for people in the public eye.
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