UMass Lowell Teacher: I Have Coronavirus-Like Symptoms, Can't Get Tested

LOWELL, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — When UMass Lowell instructor Debbie White got home from a Spring Break trip to Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado, she thought her shortness of breath was just due to the altitude.

But, she told WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal, her breathing issues continued.

"The day after I got home, I felt continued shortness of breath, which I thought would have gone away, for three days," she said, and also described "a scratchy, sort of itchy throat."

Now, even though she's 65 and has a fever of 102, chills, and a cough, she said she's been told by her doctor as well as local and state health officials that she cannot get a test for COVID-19.

"I'm not eligible to get a test unless I have known contact with people who are infected, which I don't," White said. "I mean, come on, how would we know if you're not testing people?"

While she can't demonstrate that she came into contact with anyone already sick, she said she has been in contact with a lot of people, including friends from Europe.

"I have some friends who arrived here from Italy, they live mostly in Italy, and I saw them last week and I hugged them hello," she said. "I've been in contact with a lot of people—I was in an airport for hours!"

She said she's "fine," but that her major concern is for friends and others who she worries may have been exposed.

White was told to stay home and quarantine, which she's doing. She also said she was told that things could change if her fever goes above 105.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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