COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Every day the coronavirus numbers go up, the number of deaths go up and the number of Ohioans infected with COVID-19 go up. But the numbers might be deceptive because of what is not going up — the number of available diagnostic tests.
“For now, most of us will not be tested” said Dr. Amy Acton, the Ohio Department of Health Director. “Your provider will talk to you about staying home and how to take care of yourself. I know that is frightening to people but we need to understand that is the truth.”
It’s a tough truth for mothers like Amanda McNeal, whose 11-year-old son became very ill with flu-like symptoms the day after Ohio Govenor Mike DeWine ordered schools to close. But due to the age of McNeal’s son and otherwise good health, he cannot be tested for COVID-19. The 6th grade student has had high fever, aches, diarrhea and vomiting. A doctor told his mother the boy likely has COVID-19, but added unless the symptoms progressed to needing hospital care he would never get a test.
McNeal and Dr. Acton want people to take care of each other and to take the coronavirus seriously, even without a confirming test.
“We still remain with an incredible shortage of testing in Ohio,” Dr. Acton said. “We are reserving that testing capability for the highest risk hospitalized patients.”