Where are the COVID-19 Tests?
By Eleanor Fowler
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is doing our community a great disservice. There is a lack of communication and transparency regarding the testing of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Myself and many others I've spoken to have called our personal doctors and health professionals, the hospital, and the Public Health Department asking for COVID-19 testing. My doctor stated they were completely unaware of where the testing would be as they don't have them on hand and referred me to Public Health and the hospital where I received no response except automated messages.
A friend recently came back from traveling and has all the symptoms, did their due diligence by reporting to their doctor and Public Health, and nothing. No response, not testing, nothing. Thankfully they are responsible enough to self-quarantine.
Another friend who also qualifies for a potentially positive test was told the only way to get tested was to go to the Emergency Room or stay home. For the time being he chose to stay home instead of possibly infecting others.
It's my assumption that in Santa Barbara County, as well as all over the United States, there are many many more cases of people who would test positive for COVID-19 but since they aren't being tested the numbers are inaccurate.
The question is, why aren't they being tested? Are there not enough test kits? If so, state that publicly and request more. Are health departments overloaded? Also state this so officials and the community can help streamline assistance to all who need it. Is our local health system completely unprepared? Doubt this will ever be admitted.
Or is the lack of testing everyone a way to possibly prevent further panic in the community? This would be a very dangerous approach as some people's lives are at risk.
The Public Health Department is very good and putting out press releases telling us to wash our hands and stay home if we don't feel well, but where is there response when someone who is actually sick and may be infected needs to be tested? Do better!
. The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.