HISD employee possibly exposed to coronavirus: ‘The process to get tested is extremely unorganized'

HOUSTON – An employee at Houston Independent School District, who was possibly exposed to the new coronavirus after he traveled from a country on the CDC travel warning list, is self-quarantined in his home.

He told KPRC 2 that, "the process to get tested is extremely unorganized.”

Houston Health Department officials recommended that he call his doctor, the unidentified employee said. But his doctor didn’t know what to do and told him to call the department back.

“Most doctors know (what to do), and so that surprises me that a doctor would not know,” Houston Health Department spokesman Porfirio Villarreal said in response.

The employee tried urgent care facilities and eventually ended up at an undisclosed Houston hospital emergency room.

“I was quarantined in a (negative) pressure room,” he said. “They ran all the labs.”

A Houston businessman told KPRC 2 that he was also surprised at how difficult it was to get a coronavirus test after returning from a business trip to Italy.

“They told me nope, there are no tests, don’t come in, don’t do anything," he said.

Several days later, he exhibited “a cough and tightness of chest, and some sinus stuff," and called the health departments back.

He said the Houston Health Department eventually arranged for him to go to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“I went to the emergency room,” he said. “They took me through a long ordeal and kept me there for four hours.”

But in the end, he learned last week that his test was never sent to the CDC, he said. He no longer has symptoms.

The businessman returned from Italy 17 days ago and said he was never asked to self-quarantine, but he did anyway out of an abundance of caution.

“I’m trying to be a good citizen,” he said.

The HISD employee said his test was conducted on Monday, and that he expects results soon.

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