Some Hoosiers not able to get tested for COVID-19 despite exposure

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Posted at 12:18 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 07:03:35-04

The availability of testing for COVID-19 the novel coronavirus is a major issue.

A central Indiana family is now dealing with the harsh reality that not everyone who thinks they may have the coronavirus is able to get tested to truly confirm it.

"I've been trying to get tested since Friday I think," Dan Hessel told RTV6.

Hessel has had symptoms associated with COVID-19 since returning from a business trip in Hartford, Conn. last week. Someone he came in contact with testing positive for coronavirus. Others who are just like Dan have been able to get testing fairly easily.

"Most of them are from the northeast — New Jersey, New York, Connecticut," Hessel said. "We were on a conference call and they're like, 'Oh yeah, I just went through a drive thru and they tested me.'"

That isn't an option in Indiana. So Dan and his wife, Amanda, who has also started developing symptoms, are left in limbo because the medical professionals they've talked to, going off guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, won't recommend them for testing because they aren't in bad shape.

Hessel said it's unsettling for the couple who help family members, like Amanda's parents, who are in their 90s — a high-risk group for the disease that they've had to stop seeing for now. In addition, they're about to welcome a new grandbaby soon.

"My daughter-in-law, they're supposed to do her c-section in a special room if she's been exposed," Hessel said. "If somebody in my family gets it and I've had it and I have immunity for a certain period of time, I can go and help take care of them."

Hessel told RTV6 that despite past health problems and being 63, he feels like he's going to be fine. He wants for government officials, especially in Indiana, to see the shortcomings of the situation and learn from them so the state is more prepared in the future.

"Bottom line is it's a pain being sick but I'm going to be fine," Hessel said. "But if this was something people were dying of left and right — holy moly, we'd really be in trouble."