Frustrations mount over shortage of coronavirus testing in Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As more cases of COVID-19 are reported in the Central Valley, more people continue to voice their frustrations surrounding testing.

Currently, if you want to be tested for the disease, you have to meet certain criteria.

Melissa of Fresno County is frustrated.

She has been sick for the last five weeks after coming in contact with two coworkers who returned from a cruise in late January. One of them was sick.

She only wants to be identified by her first name for fears of repercussion at work.

"I've never been sick this long though so that is why it worries me and for my daughter to get sick, that worries me also because she never gets sick," says Melissa.

She's concerned she could have contracted COVID-19 but hasn't been able to get tested.

The health department told her she and her daughter weren't at risk.

"She said we were low-risk, because we were not running high fevers, our breathing was okay and were not with someone who tested positive," Melissa says.

Other testing criteria also include traveling out of the country and being in a county with high case numbers.

Another Fresno County resident who wants to remain anonymous is voicing similar concerns.

Her 50-year-old husband recently traveled to the East Coast and then San Francisco. He's now exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms.

"I'm concerned about the public and the people he came in contact with," she says.

After spending several days and countless hours on the phone with the county and Health Department, she was finally able to get him tested.

It'll take a couple of days before she gets the results back.

She's currently isolating her husband in a bedroom.

"I've been taking him food through the door with a mask and a trash bag on, I don't know if that helps," she says.

Currently, 22 public health labs in the state are testing samples for COVID-19.

One of those is located in the Central Valley in Tulare County.

The FDA announced Saturday it will be rolling out a new test at the end of March that will provide results within hours.
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