Minnesota woman struggling to be tested after doctor recommends COVID-19 screening

Toni Carlino speaks with FOX 9 about her trouble getting tested.

As cases pile up around the country, and with nine now confirmed in Minnesota, the coronavirus pandemic has many people who are feeling sick wondering if they should be tested for COVID-19.

For one Minnesota woman, the process to get tested has left her frustrated. She says she's had two health care professionals tell her she should be tested. Yet, she’s spent the last 24 hours getting the runaround.

Speaking with us an hour from her home, in a parked car near Austin, Minnesota, Toni Carlino says she is waiting for the Mayo Clinic to tell her what to do and where to go next.

Carlino says she has several health issues including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and she smokes, making her very concerned about contracting the illness.

Last Thursday, she was seen for a regularly scheduled appointment with her pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic and mentioned her persistent cough, fever, and tiredness. She was thankful to test negative for the flu and RSV. However, Wednesday, she was shocked while logging onto her patient portal to read her doctor had also called for a COVID-19 test, which never happened.

Toni and her husband.

"It's not that it’s a family or general practitioner," she said. "It's a lung specialist that’s ordering it."

From there, Carlino made several calls including to the Department of Health hotline and was again told to coordinate for a coronavirus test with her doctor.

However, she’s been getting the runaround about where to go and turned away from the Mayo’s drive-up testing location in Rochester.

Carlino hasn’t traveled internationally but her husband drives a truck crisscrossing the country and, up until a week before her symptoms started, she was along for the ride.

"I’m trying to stay away from other people because if this is it," she explained. "I don't want to spread it. I wouldn’t want people who are sick out exposing me."