El Paso woman gets coronavirus diagnosis but can’t get tested

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) An El Paso mother of three says she and her family began self-isolation back on March 15th out of an abundance of caution.

Garcia family.

“We took it very seriously in my family because I have a daughter who’s asthmatic,” said Lyda Ness Garcia an El Pasoan.

Little did she know that choosing to self-isolate before she was showing any symptoms prevented spreading the virus to others which one El Paso virologist says everyone should do.

“We must assume that we are all infected and that we are all potential transmitters of this virus and as such we must take measures to minimize the contact with each other,” said Dr. Douglas Watts an El Paso Virologist.

This past Wednesday Garcia had a routine doctor’s appointment. Her doctor noticed her shortness of breath and coughing.

“Between every sentence that I would speak I would have to stop and catch a breath and I couldn’t exhale the whole way,” said Garcia.

The next day (Thursday) Garcia developed a fever and her doctor sent her written orders to get tested for COVID-19. However, she says she spent Thursday and Friday trying to figure out how.

“The bottom line is there are no testing facilities that are open on the weekend period,” said Garcia.

On Saturday she went to the ER.

“I arrived and they had an outside tent and they immediately put a mask on you and they walk you through a back door and into an isolation room,” said Garcia.

That’s when she was informed that unless she was hospitalized she would not be tested for COVID-19. Even though the ER doctor diagnosed her with the coronavirus.

Coronavirus diagnosis.

“They are trying to save the tests for the most serious of patients is my understanding,” said Garcia.

She returned home and is constantly checking her oxygen levels and keeping her distance from her children and wearing a mask when leaving her room.

Garcia wearing a mask at home.

Gacia says she understands that tests need to be used for people who need it the most but says the number of positive cases in El Paso may not represent the number of people who actually have the virus.

She adds that she believes it’s important for people to self-isolate like she did — even if you don’t have symptoms yet.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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