Florida coronavirus: Sarasota mom says she’s battling virus along with testing delays

8 On Your Side

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Sarasota mother who is fighting coronavirus says she’s also battling a testing system that’s broken. For days, she’s been trying to get her teenager’s COVID-19 test results. She fears she may have infected her child.

“The illness itself is absolutely hellish,” Linda Haukaas said.

Haukaas’ cell phone shook as she shivered in a hospital in Manatee County.

“The severity of it was really quite great,” she said. “There came a point where I was strong enough to take us to be tested.”

The mother and her daughter were tested at the state-run site in Sarasota. Six days later, Haukaas says she still can’t get any results.

You’ve heard this story before.

“The followup to the results have been an impossibility,” she said. “I was not successful in…making any contact whatsoever.”

Haukaas knows she’s positive. While she was waiting for those results, she went to the emergency room and had to be hospitalized.

Now she’s desperate to learn her teen’s status.

“She’s asthmatic so that’s one big problem. The other is that she’s been feeling nauseous and vomiting,” said Haukaas. “My physician really wants to know what her condition is. If I don’t get results quickly, I’m going to have to have her come into the ER.”

8 On Your Side has exposed barriers to efficient testing since March.

Months into this pandemic, Haukaas thinks the testing process in Florida should be much faster and easier.

We contacted the state and the lab. They’re working to track down the teen’s results.

Unfortunately, Haukaas’ daughter took a bad turn on Tuesday. The mother wants her to be admitted immediately.  

She says this case illustrates why it’s so important for families to get results in a timely manner.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please email Investigator Mahsa Saeidi at MSaeidi@WFLA.com  

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