UPDATE: After trying for hours to get her husband tested for COVID-19, Wyoming County woman says the test was thrown out

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) Wednesday, March 25, 2020 UPDATE: It took hours for a Wyoming County woman to get her husband tested for COVID-19, only for the test to be cancelled.

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Angela Lanning told 59News it took around five hours for her husband to get tested for COVID-19.

Her husband, Michael Lanning, described how he felt that day.

“I started running a fever, it started getting hard for me to breathe, my cough was really bad,” said Lanning.

Michael Lanning was evaluated by a doctor Thursday morning who determined he fit the criteria to be tested for COVID-19. He showed all the symptoms, and recently traveled out of state. But his wife Angela had to take him to five different medical facilities before he could finally be tested, and it took her calling the CDC.

He was fnally tested at Beckley ARH.

“They took me to an isolation room where no one could contact me,” said Lanning.

Lanning said doctors ran a number of tests, including one for COVID-19. He tested positive for Coronavirus HKU-1 and an upper respiratory infection.

According to Dr. Ayne Amjad, there are different types of coronavirus and HKU-1 is one of them. It is one of the viruses that causes a respiratory infection. She explained that COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus.

“I was still concerned because I didn’t really get too much information on the virus,” said Lanning.

He was sent home with an inhaler and told to quarantine for 14 days, but the Lanning’s confusion did not stop there. He called Monday, March 23, to ask about his results for COVID-19.

“We called the family doctor to get the results and she told me that I needed to call BAR-H back because it said that I was never tested,” said Lanning. “When you get that big cotton swab stuck down your nose you’re never going to forget that.”

He said BAR-H told them they followed CDC guidelines and cancelled the test because he was positive for a different type. Angela said they were told it was unlikely for him to have two viruses.

“If tests are so hard to come by and our state only has a limited supply, why would they just throw one out?” said Angela.

Dr. Amjad said it is possible to have two viruses.

“We’re still sitting here and he’s sick we can’t be around our children,” Angela said. “He may or may not have had it and we’ll never know and neither will our neighbors or the people he works with.”

While things are still unclear for the Lannings, Michael is doing much better and Angela has yet to show symptoms.

There are still major unanswered questions surrounding this case. 59News will continue to track down answers from the doctors at the hospital where Lanning was tested.


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — ORIGINAL: Thursday, March 19, 2020: A Wyoming County woman described the difficulties she faced trying to get her husband tested for COVID-19. On Friday, March 20, 2020, Angela Lanning took her husband to five different medical facilities across two counties before he could be tested for COVID-19.

“People that are sick cannot be tested even if doctors offices are saying to be tested. There’s nobody that can test him,” said Lanning.

Lanning’s husband works in Tennessee and Virginia. Thursday night he came home very sick

“He was sitting up in bed because he said when he laid down it felt like he couldn’t breathe, like mucus was drowning him,” Lanning said.

Friday morning she took him to the health department and they sent him to their family doctor. The Lannings went to Family Health Care Associates in Pineville, where their doctor said he met all criteria for coronavirus, fever, cough, and recent travel out of state. He also tested negative for the flu and strep.

“He’s running a fever of 102, he’s coughing, it’s very hard for him to breathe. He said it feels like someone is squeezing his lungs,” said Lanning.

Their family doctor gave him a West Virginia test number and sent him to Primary Care and Prevention Clinic an hour away in Beckely. By the time Lanning got there, they missed the time frame for testing.

Dr. Ayne Amjad told 59 News testing sites have specific time slots because not all staff are trained to test people. At her clinic, only the woman from the CAMC lab is trained to do the test.

She said doctors cannot put their staff or other patients at risk, which is why its important the tests are highly controlled. They can only test patients who were already screened by their family doctors, and the doctors must call ahead and ask when the patient can come get tested, so medical staff can prepare for them. Amjad said the clinic did not receive a call from the Lanning’s doctor.

Lanning said she worried the longer they were on the road, the worse the situation was getting.

“With him being in Beckley and us being in here for five hours, we’re having to travel around… of course he’s going to have to use the bathroom, so we’re having to question whether he should even stop to use the bathroom because he could have this, and we don’t want anybody else to get sick,” said Lanning.

Lanning called her doctor back, who sent them to Raleigh General Hospital. When they got to the hospital and presented the test ID, Angela said they told her they were only testing people who are already hospitalized and critical. She was told even if they checked him into ER, they could not guarantee they could test him.

Then she called the CDC who told her to go to BARH. At 5 p.m., her husband finally got tested; they first took him to the doctor around 11 a.m.

“My advice to anybody would be, call the CDC,” said Lanning. “If anybody turns you away, if you meet the criteria and have been given a West Virginia testing number, go directly to the CDC.”

The results will come back in about four days.

Lanning said her husband must stay in the hospital for six to eight hours with no visitors. Doctors said his respiratory levels are not good and he may need a ventilator. She said his doctors are working directly with the CDC right now and are going to do all they can to help him. She said she is very grateful to them.

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