CHICAGO — A Mount Greenwood man who was sick for 17 days with apparent coronavirus symptoms and was tested for April 3 at Roseland Community Hospital is still waiting for his test results three weeks later.
Steve Williams, a 36-year-old building engineer and part of Local 399 said he came down with a fever, cough and chills April 2 and learned the next day that Roseland was providing drive-thru testing.
“They told me it would take seven days and since then I’ve been calling every day. I can’t get ahold of everybody or I get an operator who takes my name and number but they never call back. I just get the runaround. I’ve called 100 times and have gotten nothing,” Williams said. He added that “One operator I spoke to said everyone who got tested that day hasn’t gotten their test results.”
Although he is now feeling better and has gone back to work, Williams said he was home sick for 17 days and burned up most of his vacation time — time his employer will give back if he can provide a positive test. Additionally, Williams said he’s also concerned about those who he was in contact with before he was tested.
“I want to know for my family’s sake that I was around and I was at work the day before. My work would like to know. And right now I had to use all my vacation time to get paid. If it’s a positive test, the company will pay for the days and I won’t have to use vacation time,” Williams said.
On Thursday, Roseland administrator Elio Montenegro told Block Club Chicago that while the hospital was overwhelmed with people getting tests, he hadn’t heard of any delays as long as Williams was experiencing and promised to get to the bottom of it.
“I have my people looking into it and we will contact Mr. Williams,” Montenegro said. When he was asked when Williams would be contacted, he said, “For sure, by tomorrow. First thing tomorrow morning we’ll track it down and be able to call him back.”
Montenegro said that the reason some tests were delayed was because of delays by Quest Diagnostics, who they were originally using to process the tests before doing them on their own.
“We originally were using Quest but they got backed up and almost two weeks behind, so we went out and bought our own machines. We were behind because of Quest but once we got our machines we started playing catch-up and I think we’re caught up. We’re maybe a couple days behind.”
Despite assurances, Friday came and went and by 5:30 p.m., Montenegro was contacted by Block Club Chicago again.
“I have a million things to do. I contacted the lab to follow up. We’ve tested 7,500 people and things happen. As soon as I have something I will contact him,” Montenegro said. This time, he refused to speculate when Williams would be called.
“The needs of the community have been incredible and we’re a small little hospital, we aren’t Advocate Healthcare with thousands of employees. We have 450 and the city is not helping us, nobody is helping us. We’ll figure this out,” Montenegro said.
Upon learning that he would still have to wait at least another day, Williams said on Friday that he was beyond frustrated.
“Unreal. All I want is a yes or no as to whether I have it. Good god.”
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