A group of first responders in Washington state, a scientist in California, a woman at an assisted living facility in Florida — all worried because they believe they might have coronavirus but say they can’t get tested.
They and many others tell CNN they’re suffering symptoms associated with Covid-19, and are worried they may have come into contact with someone who has the virus. They are angry and frustrated after trying to get tested, only to be turned away.
Their stories came into CNN’s tip line even as Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday told CNN’s morning show, “New Day,” that anyone with a doctor’s order could get tested.”There’s no barrier …” Pence said. “Make no mistake about it, we’re making steady progress.”
A primary care doctor in Massachusetts said Pence’s assertion that anyone with doctor’s orders for testing can get it is “totally false.”
There is strict criteria for testing: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is only approving testing for people who are critically ill, have been exposed to an infected patient, or who have recently traveled to certain heavily impacted countries outside the US.
Even if a patient is approved for testing, there just aren’t tests on hand to use, said the physician, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Even if the patient were around and exposed to someone coughing, sick, sneezing, I cannot give them a coronavirus test,” the doctor said. “We are being crippled by our department of public health and the CDC on our ability to combat this pandemic.”