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Groton woman's wait for test results could stretch beyond a week

Groton — Julie Sanders drove through the specimen-collection station at Hartford Hospital last Thursday, a week after first exhibiting signs of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday afternoon, she still was awaiting her test results.

"I just think people should know that the numbers (of coronavirus cases) they're hearing about every day aren't accurate because there are so many people out there waiting to find out if they're positive," said Sanders, a 45-year-old Noank resident who's been staying at home with her partner.

"It's crazy that it takes this long," she said.

Public health officials have said they're hopeful an increase in the number of laboratories conducting the tests will enable them to report results in a more timely fashion.

Sanders said she's still exhibiting the symptoms that prompted a nurse practitioner's order that she be tested. Sanders intended to go to The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich last Thursday, but when the Backus drive-up collection site's opening was pushed back a day, she went to Hartford Hospital's site instead. Both hospitals are part of the Hartford HealthCare system.

"It took a week to get the order," Sanders said. "So, I've had the symptoms for 14 days — a temperature of 100 to 102, headache, chills, body aches, loss of smell and taste, and overall fatigue."

She said she originally was told her test results would be back in two to four days. When her doctor checked Wednesday morning, he was told the results should be back by this weekend, she said.

Sanders, who self-quarantined at the first sign of her symptoms, said her family and friends have been "freaking out" over the prolonged wait for her test results.

"The question I have," she said, "is what does it mean if I've had a flat-out fever for 14 days and my test comes back negative, what's going on with my body?"

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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