BARRINGTON, Ill. — A suburban woman says she’s angry and afraid after being sent home from the hospital after being told her symptoms did not warrant a test for COVID-19.
Nichole Silmon of Schaumburg started feeling ill on March 14 and has had a fever and shortness of breath off and on since then.
Before this, both her mother and 5-year-old son were sick, as well as her younger brother. They are now all recovering.
When Silmon started feeling like she was struggling to breathe earlier Thursday, she called the COVID-19 hotline for Cook County and was told to go to the emergency room, so she came to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.
Silmon says she has a congenital heart defect as well as a thyroid disorder, but was told they wouldn't test her.
“They didn't want to hear it,” she said. “I got so upset and said, ‘Please test me. I'm not leaving here until you test me.’ Finally, the doctor got mad, left the room said, ‘I put you in the system for Cook County and they denied you.’”
Silmon said the doctors told her the congenital heart defect and thyroid disease were not considered underlying health conditions.
As of Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health said it has tested 16,631 people in Illinois.
The hospital said there continues to be a nationwide shortage of test kits and materials needed to process them.
Silmon was told to go home and quarantine herself for seven days after her symptoms ended.