SPOKANE, Wash. — It was an agonizing four days for KREM photojournalist Jeff Bollinger and his wife, Anna, as they waited to receive test results for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“It’s a long wait to find out – I mean, you want to know," Anna Bollinger said.
Anna found out on Saturday that one of her coworkers had tested positive for COVID-19. She had a sore throat and cough, among other cold and flu-like symptoms.
“I got worried that maybe I should be tested," Anna said.
Anna then called her local urgent care clinic on Saturday and asked what to do. She was directed to an e-visit through MultiCare, where she answered a number of questions.
Within a day, she received a call that notified her she had been referred for testing.
On Sunday, Anna went to the Shadle Urgent Care. She was told to call when she got into the parking lot and drive around to the back of the building, where a nurse wearing personal protective equipment waved her into the building.
"Very unusual for a medical visit but it makes sense in light of they want to minimize exposure," Anna said.
She said the test itself took about three minutes and included a nasal swab. Then, she and Jeff played the waiting game.
“You’re trying to tell your friends it’s a possibility that you may be infected and that’s not a fun situation to be in," Jeff said.
"It was a big concern," Anna added.
On Thursday morning, four days after her test, Anna received an email from MultiCare with her results. She was relieved to see that her test result had come back negative.
In actuality, Anna was just suffering from a really nasty cold, doctors said.
“There’s a lot of overlapping symptoms. They tell you on there, it’s worrying if you have overlapping symptoms," she added.
What are coronavirus symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or colds. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
The severity of symptoms ranges significantly. Some cases are very mild with symptoms similar to the common cold, and some cases are more like severe pneumonia that require hospitalization. Most deaths have been reported in older adults who had other health conditions, according to DOH.
Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after being exposed to the coronavirus or as long as 14 days.