CAPE CORAL — More and more people across our area think they may have the Coronavirus, but they’re having a hard time getting tested.
But through our reporting, we were able to find help for at least one of those people. We spoke with 19-year-old Corbin Farmer via Facetime.
“I’m not asking for a cure for something, I just want to know if I have it or I don’t," said Farmer.
He says this all started as many Coronavirus cases do: On a cruise.
“We all had fun. We all were in the Bahamas, partied for a week," said Farmer.
Partied on a cruise through a service called "STFU and Party", but Farmer said the problems didn’t start until he got back. His ship docked in the Port of Everglades last Friday, and while he was going through customs, he was stopped by staff.
“So I was in that room with all the workers. They did the normal stuff, they pulled all the stuff out of my bags, searched me, patted me down," said Farmer.
Farmer is afraid that contact may have been the source of the virus. Only four days later, Metro Cruise Services, which employs the workers who searched Farmer, put out a press release, saying three of its employees at the Port of Everglades tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Farmer was getting a serious sore throat.
“It was like completely closing up that night. Like 1 a.m., it completely closed up. I couldn’t get a breath of air. I was like freaking out. It was maybe only 30 seconds I couldn’t breathe, but it felt like five minutes you know," said Farmer.
Without knowing what he had, Farmer locked himself in his room.
“I’ve got a dad that has Huntington’s Disease that I can’t give it to. I’ve got a grandma that I don’t want to give it to, you know. Like, I’m not worried about myself, I’m going to get through this. It’s just, do I have something that I’m passing on? Or do I not?” said Farmer.
That’s a question that Farmer found hard to answer. He called the COVID-19 hotline. He called Lee Health. He called the Florida Department of Health. Finally, he called our reporter Rob Manch.
“Is that really what I have to do to get tested? Go on the news? Like is it that bad?" said Farmer.
Through our reporting, we had learned that Cape Coral Urgent Care had done some tests.
"They’ve been looking as far north as Port Charlotte and we’ve had somebody as far south as Bonita who’s come here because they can’t find anybody local to take care of them," said Dr. Adam Hall. He’s tested five people so far.
“We take their symptoms over the phone. If we think they have enough criteria, they have fever, cough, shortness of breath, and one of those other risk factors, then we’re going to want them to stay in their car, wear a mask. We’re going to go out and we’re going to get nasal swabs and oral swabs and send those for testing," said Hall.
Hall agreed to give Farmer the test. We filmed as Hall took nasal and mouth swabs, but Hall said, they can’t do this for everyone.
“We have enough kits right now for 50, and then hopefully they’ll send some more supplies," said Hall.
The official number of positive cases statewide right now stands at 34, but Farmer said he doesn’t believe it.
“That number’s not right, like there’s no way. It’s probably triple that," said Farmer.
But for now, with many still waiting to be tested, we simply don’t know.