I’m still trying to process the 4:45 am phone call from St. Mary Home in West Hartford, Connecticut. The head nurse on the first floor had called to inform me that Aunt Terrie had received a positive COVID test. I was stunned because, since being moved from the third floor back in April, I’ve only received calls with good news. The nurse then informed me that she would be moved, either to St. Francis-the hospital where I was born and where Aunt Terrie was a nurse for most of her career-or to a place in East Hartford called Riverside.
I hung up the phone and collected my thoughts. What if this was a false positive? I moved to a place where I wouldn’t wake everyone in my house and called back. I was transferred to Stephanie, the nurse who had originally called. “Is my aunt experiencing any symptoms?” She responded no and said this was why they decided to send her to this Riverside place for COVID recovery. “Whom might she have gotten it from?” I asked. She didn’t say how she might have contracted the virus, only offered that my aunt does not stay in her room but does wear a mask. “Is there a chance of false-positive? Can she be retested?” With that, she said I would need to speak to her boss, the nursing supervisor, and gave me another number.
Once again I phoned back and spoke to the nursing supervisor. She told me “no,” there’s no need for another test. “The PCR is the better one.” Consequently, they would not need to test again. So here I am, hoping this move goes smoothly and that Aunt Terrie stays symptom free.