Confusion over coronavirus testing frustrates some metro residents

Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 19:35:17-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a lot of confusion among people who either want a test to see if they are positive for coronavirus and those who have taken the test and still are awaiting results.

41 Action News spoke to a couple women who said they have the symptoms of the coronavirus.

Leilani Haywood attended a meeting in Los Angeles at the beginning of March.

"There were people from all over the world and the hotel I was staying at,” Haywood said.

Not long after, Haywood started feeling sick.

"A week and a half later, I was I started getting coughs, I could hardly breathe, sore throat, chest pain,” Haywood said, “and I went to my doctor and told her I want to be tested for coronavirus and at that time they said there weren’t any tests available.”

This past Tuesday, Haywood got a test to see if she had coronavirus.

"It was really fast,” she said. “I mean, they shove a swab up your nose”.

But to this day, she still doesn’t know her results.

"They said you are supposed to be notified either way, so we’re like sitting here in limbo freaking out,” Haywood said. “I’m freaking out so, you know, wondering what the results are.”

Merriam resident Katy Hendry also told 41 Action News she has some symptoms of the coronavirus, so she visited an urgent care facility to see what was wrong with her.

"I tested negative for flu A and B, and then he said while I could get tested for COVID-19, he didn’t consider me high risk,” Hendry said.

But she kept feeling sick and after a recommendation from her doctor, it didn’t help.

"I spoke to two different people, one said I didn’t qualify, the other said I did and then apparently talked to the other woman and said that I didn’t,” Hendry said. “So no tests for me, and I was just appalled at how little anybody knew. It’s scary when you’re told that you need this and then you can’t get it.”

The availability of COVID-19 tests are concerning health professionals.

"We need more kits, we need more supplies so that we can take care of people,” said Dr. Toni Zink, adult senior health and international medicine physician at Samuel Rodgers Health Center.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said right now they are running 150-200 samples per day.

"We're precariously low on the test kits,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE secretary, said. “We put out appeals through our supply chain. And by the way, this is not unique to our state. It's everybody's struggling with this.”

It’s a struggle that’s concerning for those wanting to know if they have the virus.

"Staying home and monitoring symptoms is all I can do right now,” Hendry said.

Haywood said she would like to have answers.

"We would like to hear either way if we’re positive or negative,” Haywood said.

On Saturday, the White House made it a point that every person with coronavirus symptoms won’t get tested unless they are considered high risk, which will help conserve hospital employees’ personal protective equipment.