Lines are forming every morning at COVID-19 testing stations, and many are getting turned away

Lines are forming to get tested for COVID-19 at NCH in Naples, and some ar getting turned away
Posted at 7:42 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 19:42:42-04

NAPLES — More and more people are asking to be tested for the Coronavirus as the pandemic spreads.

Hospitals in southwest Florida are trying to keep up, but in some cases, they’re turning people away. Wednesday morning, the line of cars outside NCH Downtown Baker Hospital stretched around the block, but right now, doctors are only testing 40 people per day, which means many people get turned away.

“I could be a carrier, I don’t know. I could have it," said Donna Cesare, who went to get tested Wednesday, and was turned away.

“At 9:00 this morning, the sign was already lit for the Telford Center, that they were closed, and they didn’t even open until 10," said Cesare.

Cesare has been out there every morning since Monday, getting turned away every time.

“To me, that’s saying hey, let’s just continue to spread it, because there’s no saying that the car behind me, they didn’t have it," said Cesare.

She’s so determined to get tested, because her doctor told her to. Cesare has a note, showing she has a cough, a fever, underlying health conditions, and she has already tested negative for the flu.

“It puts me at a higher risk because I have a lower immune," said Cesare.

So far, NCH has submitted 64 tests to the CDC, but compare that to Lee Health, which has already sent 147. We reached out to NCH to ask why, but didn’t hear back.

“If it’s as bad as what they say, they need to make it a little more accessible for people. I understand the medical staff is stressed out to the max, I get it, but I’m stressed out too," said Cesare.

Cesare did finally get tested by going to Physicians Regional Hospital, but she had to wait in the emergency room there, around other people. She said she hopes they come up with a better system moving forward.