‘I became numb’: Family describes difficulties getting test for suburban man with COVID-19

COVID-19 Pandemic
Data pix.

ROSELLE, Ill. — A suburban family is outraged after they said their 86-year-old father was not provided a COVID-19 test, despite having symptoms.

Now Jack Frank, of Roselle, is in intensive care after he was rushed to the hospital on Friday.

On Friday, police and Frank’s family found him unable to stand and struggling to speak. Paramedics rushed him to Alexian Brothers Medical Center and gave him fluids and a chest x-ray.

Family said staff told them to take him home because they said his symptoms were not a match for COVID-19.

"He’s an 86-year-old man who is very weak and I was very surprised he was not admitted or tested for it,” said daughter Sandy Whaley. “And he was released so quickly.”

The very next day, Frank’s condition worsened. Paramedics took him to Good Shepherd Hospital, where he tested positive for COVID-19.

“I got numb after I heard he tested positive for COVID-19,” said Whaley.

Frank is now in intensive care.

Governor Pritzker has blamed the Trump administration for an early shortage of testing kits. 

11,485 of the state’s 12 million residents have been tested for COVID-19. 

Illinois health officials said they can now process 2,000 tests a day. The governor said it’s still not enough.

"Even with the rapid expansion, we will need tens of thousands more tests to get an accurate picture of our state,” Pritzker said.

Frank’s family fears the delay in diagnosis may hurt his chances for recovery.  They’re also concerned about the paramedics, health care workers and family members who have been exposed.

“All of it could have been avoided if he was admitted,” Whaley said.

A spokesperson for Amita Health, which owns Alexian Brothers, cited patient privacy in declining to comment on Frank’s experience. The hospital did say they have increased its ability to perform tests and are following guidelines set by the CDC.

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