CARROLLTON, Ga. — With the number of coronavirus cases on the rise in Georgia, concern about the virus is growing, especially for people who think they may have symptoms.
One family was left uncertain and anxious after they said their 4-year-old daughter was refused a COVID-19 test at a local hospital.
Naomi Wolfe said her little girl was showing all the signs you hear about with COVID-19 - fatigue, sore throat, fever. She said her daughter tried as best she could to tell her mom that something was wrong.
"She just felt like she was breathing funny," Wolfe said.
When she took her child's temperature, it was 103 degrees - and rising. So, she called the doctor. But she said three different providers refused to give her daughter a coronavirus test.
"I asked about a coronavirus test then. They said she didn't need one," she said her pediatrician told her.
When her daughter's fever kept getting higher, Wolfe took her to the ER at Tanner Medical Center, and said she was again refused a coronavirus test.
"I explained to (a staffer) my husband, my other kids, my concern for other people. And she said it wouldn't make a difference if we had the test or not. That we should act the same. Tylenol, Advil - that's all you can do," Wolfe recounted.
When asked about the situation, Tanner Medical Center told 11Alive they can't talk about specific patients because of HIPPA laws, but said they follow a list of guidelines for when they administer the test.
"In regards to our policy for COVID-19 testing for adults and children, Tanner's clinical teams evaluate each patient based on his or her symptoms, the history of contact with people who may be or have been ill, as well as the patient's previous clinical history to determine the best course of care for that patient," the hospital said in a statement.
While what happened to Wolfe is unsettling, data from the state appears to show Georgia children are generally getting tested for the coronavirus.
11Alive pulled the numbers, and there have been 175 confirmed cases for children younger than 1. For kids between 1 - 4 years old, there are 524 cases. There are more than 700 confirmed cases for kids 5 - 9, and more than 2,000 for kids over 10. There has been one pediatric death in that group, according to the data.
"That's my whole frustration, I don't understand why they wouldn't [test]," Wolfe expressed. "I think that having that knowledge empowers us and enables us to keep the rest of our community safe."
11Alive Medical Expert Dr. Sujatha Reddy agreed it's important medical information.
"If there's an infected family member, that will impact how the rest of the family behaves, which means they might need to shelter in place and quarantine. So, I do think it's important that we know," she said.
Wolfe, meanwhile, said she contacted the ER director and paid to have her 4-year-old tested for COVID-19 at a private clinic. She said she's frustrated waiting for the results to come back.
"To just say, 'no' and not test when there is a pandemic killing and infecting thousands and millions of people around the globe, it's not something that should be taken lightly," she said.
Wolfe expects to have her daughters test results back by Saturday, at the latest.
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