Local woman highlights challenges of coronavirus testing

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Navigating life during the pandemic can be difficult as it is, but for one Harrisburg woman, trying to get a coronavirus test added a whole new set of challenges.

After a trip, Rachel Rocks had all of the telltale symptoms of coronavirus: fever, coughing, shortness of breath. So she turned to a telehealth doctor.

“He suggested I get a covid test. But the teledoc he can’t help you except to give you the referal and say good luck, google it, have fun,” Rocks said.

Almost immediately, she ran into issues.

“Everywhere I turned it seemed to be a dead end,” Rocks said. “I mean it was just, it’s maddening, it’s really maddening.”

She found that the websites can be hard to navigate, some places had no open appointments for days, and others warned it could take over a week to get results.

She heard the same stories from her friends also looking to get tested.

“It was an insane process. And like I said that’s like all me and my friends and my sister all working together to figure it out,” Rocks said.

Eventually she got an appointment and tested negative for the virus. Instead doctors figured out she had pneumonia. But virus or no virus, it was a lesson learned.

“Who doesn’t think it’s not going to happen to me? I mean everybody. You know what I mean? I’m going to take all the precautions. I’m going to always wear my mask. I’m not going to be around people. But you fly on a plane there and back,” Rocks said.

Now she’s looking to health leaders for answers about how to fix the testing process.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I know there needs to be one,” Rocks said.

If you’re trying to figure out how to get tested, a good place to start is Health.PA.gov. They have an interactive map with all of the Pennsylvania places offering testing.

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