Coronavirus California: Father says two Valley hospitals refuse to test son for COVID-19

Thursday, April 9, 2020
Mariposa father says 2 Valley hospitals refuse to test son for COVID-19
Mariposa father says 2 Valley hospitals refuse to test son for COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. -- Donovan Mahler says he doesn't know what to do to help his son. His 22-month-old boy, DJ, has been sick for days and says his hospital visits have left him with more questions than answers after he was refused a test for novel coronavirus.

Mahler says his son has a fever of over 100, rapid breathing, and a mild cough that started about four days ago.

He took him to John C Fremont Hospital in Mariposa, where he says DJ was tested for the flu and strep, but it all came back negative.

Mahler says the hospital, however, did not test him for the coronavirus.

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"They refused it because they're not testing children because the mortality rate is low," Mahler said.

Mahler then drove his son down to Valley Children's Hospital the following two days and says the nurse at the hospital wanted to test the boy for COVID-19.

"I was relieved until he said his supervisor shut down the idea because no one was confirmed with the coronavirus," Mahler said.

Mahler says he works in the fast-food industry, and his job hasn't given him masks, so he's exposed to hundreds of people a day.

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Our sister station ABC30 in Fresno reached out to Valley Children's Hospital for a response.

They can't talk about this specific case, but issued a statement saying, "Valley Children's Healthcare closely follows the clinical guidance of the Centers for Disease Control on how to prioritize patients to receive the COVID-19 testing. Access to testing remains a challenge across the state, and increasing our own internal testing capabilities is one of Valley Children's top priorities."

They also tried to reach John C. Fremont Hospital, but have yet to receive a response.

Mahler says he's just hoping to take his son somewhere where he may be able to get more answers.

"We're trying to get a reliable source and do what we need to do to get my son taken care of," Mahler said.

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