SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A nightmare mission to get a COVID-19 test took one man on a wild ride to a testing site.
After being exposed to COVID-19 when one of his caregivers tested positive, Russell Rawlings told CBS13 he never imagined it would be so difficult to get tested.
“It’s scary honestly, and I didn’t expect it to be,” said Rawlings.
Rawlings, who has cerebral palsy, is an active voice for those with disabilities. He said it took him several days and an ambulance to get to a COVID-19 testing site.
“They’d never had people even ask about these things. They hadn’t thought about it because I guess no one has ever raised the flag with them,” said Rawlings.
“Then we couldn’t even get a caregiver to come in in the evenings because we were all exposed and no one wanted to come in and work, obviously,” said Rawlings’ roommate and live-in caregiver Aleathea Simmons.
To make matters worse, Rawlings said by the time he arrived in the ambulance, he was 10 minutes past his appointment time and everyone had left for lunch.
“So here I was strapped to a gurney in a parking lot for a little over an hour,” said Rawlings.
CBS13 checked one home testing site, Pixel Corp. It takes several types of insurance and will send you a home testing kit in a matter of days, but Rawlings said no one ever told him about it. He said when he called Kaiser and Sacramento County Health for help getting transportation to a testing site, he was sent an ambulance that couldn’t fit his motorized wheelchair.
“It’s ridiculous. Again, an at-home test would have saved everybody. I don’t even know what the billing looks like,” said Rawlings.
Rawlings said he was also told through the county COVID-19 info line that if he couldn’t get to a testing site, he could just wait and see if he developed symptoms.
CBS13 reached out to the Sacramento County Public Health Department Sunday evening but didn’t get an immediate response.