Colorado health care worker with ‘classic COVID-19’ symptoms gets negative test result


BURLINGTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A health care worker from eastern Colorado who was experiencing a number of COVID-19 symptoms was surprised to receive a negative test result.

On March 16, Amy Erickson, of Burlington, was unable to catch her breath or stop coughing.

The speech language pathologist said neither her urge to cough nor her fever stopped.

She was put on a ventilator and flown to St. Anthony Medical Center in Lakewood.

Erickson’s health improved, but her tests for the coronavirus had not come back.  

She wasn’t sure if they had been lost or were inconclusive. 

Erickson asked, “Are they backlogged? This was at the beginning (of the pandemic). I also heard there were bad batches of tests.” 

It would be three weeks after she fell ill that she was told she tested negative for the coronavirus. The result surprised her.

She says doctors told her 30 percent of the early tests had false negatives, which she says are a big problem.  

“There’s still a question as to what’s going on and what really happened. All the doctors in the ICU said this is classic COVID-19,” said Erickson. 

Erickson is sharing her story to help others understand the fear, frustration and confusion that take place in a pandemic. 

Erickson is now considering being tested to see if she’s carrying the antibodies that could help someone else fight the coronavirus.  

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