I got the coronavirus test. My ordeal was just beginning.

When I didn’t hear from the state health department, I started making my own calls, trying to reach anyone who might have my results. An epidemiologist in the state health department told me to call the county health department or the ER. The ER directed me back to the state and county health departments. The county health department wasn’t sure who would get the results.

Late Sunday, March 8, I heard from an outbreak investigator at the county health department. She had discovered that only one of my two specimens had been sent in for testing, despite a two-specimen protocol; the other was still sitting in an ER refrigerator. She told me she’d arrange for my second specimen to be sent to the state lab first thing Monday morning, though the lab probably wouldn’t expedite it, which meant my results would take until at least Tuesday or Wednesday. The 48-hour clock had been reset to zero.

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