San Francisco family has unexpected reaction after a long wait for coronavirus test result

ByJuan Carlos Guerrero via KGO logo
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
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A San Francisco family had to self-quarantine while they waited for the coronavirus COVID-19 test result. After an excruciating seven day wait, they reaction to the result was surprising.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News Producer Juan Carlos Guerrero has been chronicling the toll uncertainty is taking on his family as they wait for a coronavirus test result. Follow their story, with all the updates, here.

While the rest of the Bay Area was heading into its first full weekend of sheltering in place, my wife and I faced the prospect of our second weekend in self-isolation. Five days had already passed since she was tested for COVID-19 and we had not been given the results.

On Friday afternoon we finally got a message from her doctor. It said the test results could be delayed until early next week. That caused my wife to break down in tears.

"The text message I got from my doctor that the test results are still pending and to check back next week, next week?" she said with anguish. "They said to check back in five to seven days. Seven days would be Sunday. If I'm negative, I've been living in my room in vain."

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My wife, Ma.Leticia Gomez has been in quarantine since she came home sick on Friday night, that's a week ago Friday. She has only left our bedroom to use the bathroom. The isolation has taken its toll on her emotional well being. I have been sleeping in another room and been cooking for her. I have also limited myself to only going outside our apartment to walk the dog to avoid exposing other people.

While having to wait longer for the result was not what we wanted to hear, at least the message confirmed I could not pick up my daughters from UC San Diego and move them back to the Bay Area since the university switched to online courses for the spring quarter. I had to continue in self-isolation, so I asked my brother to go. He left very early on Sunday morning and got there before noon. He helped my daughters load up their belongings in his SUV and they drove back right away.

While they were on the road, we got a call about the test results.

"You have now tested positive," the doctor on the phone told my wife. He added that we should not leave the house and to maintain as much distance as possible from each other, which we have been doing.

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As weird as it may seem, the long wait actually changed our expectations about the test result. We were actually glad we tested positive and she had only suffered mild symptoms and I did not get sick at all.

At least our isolation had not been in vain and we had actually completed most of our required quarantine.

We spent the rest of our Sunday notifying family and friends that my wife tested positive for COVID-19.

My wife's first call was to her mom and her brother, who were together in the East Bay.

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"I tested positive," she said in Spanish. "They suggest that mom not come here for a total of three weeks, so two more weeks,"

Her mom just answered with a distraught "No. No."

My first call was to my daughters, who were still driving back from San Diego and had just passed Los Angeles.

"Leticia got a call from a doctor with the test results, she has COVID-19," I told them in a video call.

"No," answered my oldest daughter. They were hopeful for a negative result. My brother asked if that means I also had the coronavirus. "They don't know if I have it and they are not going to test me," I answered.

Fortunately, my daughters can stay at their mom's house in Fremont until our quarantine is over, then I would like them to stay with me for a while.

We also notified our employers, who then notified our coworkers.

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My wife works in San Jose and stays there several nights a week to avoid a long drive every day. She stays at my sister-in-law's house and she was with her and her two sons the day before she got a fever. She had to notify them too.

"The doctor just called me back about half an hour ago and I tested positive," she told them. "Which means you and the boys were exposed to me. Which means you and the boys should self-isolate for two weeks."

Neither of them have gotten sick, but they had been self-isolating as a precaution.

At least now we know my wife's symptoms were mild and that our quarantine will end this Friday.

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