Fredericton woman and son waited five days for COVID test while self-isolating
FREDERICTON -- New Brunswick public health says it's still working through a backlog of COVID-19 testing requests.
One woman says she'll have waited almost five days to get her test and has been isolating while she waits.
There is a new COVID-19 testing site, set up Friday morning along Rothesay Road, and more staff have been added to existing locations in Saint John and Fredericton.
This is all to help officials catch up on the number of people looking for a test.
Public health said Friday it is helping with the "backlog," but some have been waiting all week:
"We woke up Monday morning and Noah had a cough and then I sort of developed the same one, so I realized we were going to have to self-isolate and I requested tests," said Shaelynne Harnish
Harnish and her son got a call Friday morning and were late that evening -- almost five days after she made the initial call.
The St. Thomas University student says they've been isolating in the meantime.
"I'm trying to study, I'm trying to do what I can and write my term papers, when I can set him up with an activity or the television, but we're also not feeling great," said Harnish.
Earlier this week, chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell urged New Brunswickers to be prepared to have to self-isolate at some point because of the rising number of cases.
As of Friday, almost 1,800 people in the province were doing just that.
"As much as we all want to avoid catching this virus, we must be ready to face the reality of this pandemic so that we can manage it should it enter our lives," Russell said.
That's easier said than done, says Harnish.
"The heaters in our bedrooms stopped working, and the dishwasher as well, because, you know, when it rains it pours," Harnish said. "We can't have anybody come in and fix those things because we are to be by ourselves."
That made the long wait even more difficult for Harnish and her son.
"I thought this far into this pandemic, we would request a test and hopefully be tested by at least the next day, but that doesn't seem to be the case obviously," said Harnish.
The province says their testing capacity is still at two-to-three thousand a day.
If there are no spikes, public health says the backlog should be "cleared" by the end of the weekend.