I-TEAM: Despite COVID-19 testing expansion, health care providers still denying the test to some

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Monday, March 16, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

(Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Health care providers are denying some people COVID-19 testing despite the expansion of testing to commercial labs. Patients must meet a certain criteria to qualify for testing.

The World Health Organization came out Monday urging all countries to test all suspected cases but that is not happening here.

We met Amber Wilson and her daughter, Amari, last year. We talked to her through Facebook Messenger instead of face-to-face today.

“I felt like she was having some symptoms -- what’s going on with the virus,” Wilson said.

Amari began showing similar symptoms to that of the coronavirus last week. She was born with a lung condition, so her mom called the doctor.

“I asked them per protocol, what should I do,” Wilson said. “She just explained that I could bring her in, but they are not doing testing.”

Why?

“They just said because she doesn’t fall into the criteria for the test because children are low-risk,” Wilson said.

Forty-four percent of the positive cases in Georgia are with patients over the age of 60, 44 percent are between 18 and 59, but only 2 percent are under the age of 17.

The latest information from CDC states doctors can use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested.

The signs and symptoms include:

-Hospitalized patients. They get priority so that hospital personnel can make informed decisions related to infection control.
-People with symptoms who are older or are immunno-compromised. For example, people with diabetes and heart diseases.
-Anyone who has had contact with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 or traveled outside of the U.S. to an affected country.

"If you feel like you are having symptoms what are you supposed to do? And if you aren't going to be tested then we are basically left to self-treat,” Wilson said.

"So I am just kind of self monitoring her, and instead of treating for allergies, I am treating for a cold."

Wilson is also keeping the family at home.

"Be at home, play some board games, and hey, we are going to be okay if we do that, but hey if we don't take the proper precautions now, it is only going to get worse,” Wilson said.

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