By Jerry Bradshaw
Ed. Note: EVM Staff Writer Jerry Bradshaw was tested today, the first day of coronavirus testing by Hurley Medical Center at Atwood Stadium, and volunteered to offer this account of his experience. EVM assistant editor Tom Travis also went to the first day of testing — as a reporter, not as a patient— his related story about the process is posted here.
When calling the Covid-19 hotline ( 810-262-3685) you will be greeted by an automated message guiding you through a variety of options – none of them for scheduling an appointment. After the message is exhausted you will receive a prompt to leave your name and phone number.
Sounds ambiguous, right? Don’t worry. Though, I have to admit – I did worry. I left my name and number and then I called back again and pressed “0″ for an operator. The individual informed me I would need a physician’s order to be tested.
I went on a lengthy Google search to find any provider within 50 miles who would accept new patients. I didn’t find one.
My story began a couple of weeks ago the day after I went on leave when I bought groceries but didn’t have any disinfecting spray for my items. I have been sheltering in place, alone in my home, away from my job as a team lead at the Starbucks in the Fenton Target since then.
A couple of days ago I began experiencing shortness of breath, a dry cough and a fever. I have a history of asthma as well.
Finally I received a call back from the hotline. They said I did not need a physician’s order as long as I fit the criteria. I was asked also to provide my name and birthdate.I described my job working with the general public and my symptoms.
The call took less than five minutes. I was given an appointment time and told to have my insurance card and ID ready when showing up for my test.
Upon arrival, I was quickly checked in — staying in my car — and directed to follow a long line of orange cones leading to a stop sign placed next to a tent. I was then instructed to place my vehicle in park and turn off the ignition. I was asked for my information and to hold up my ID and insurance cards so photos could be taken of each.
If you decide to provide an email address, a link will be sent to you to register for Hurley MyChart. You can download the MyChart app on your phone or use the website to set up an account. This is the fastest way to receive results. Test results will be available in 1-3 days. If you do not decide to provide an email address or if you do not have one – results will be mailed to the address you provide.
After registration was complete it was time for my deep nose swab. I was provided with a mask and asked to cover only my mouth before the test was conducted. Yes, it was uncomfortable but don’t panic. The test was actually quick and painless.
As soon as the swab was complete I was sent on my way. If for any reason you have trouble signing on or creating a MyChart account you can call 810-262-9000 for further instructions.
So now I am waiting for my results, which I was told would take one to three days. I wish people would slow down and take this more seriously.
EVM Staff Writer Jerry Bradshaw can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.