A journal, Day 8: An earthquake and finally, results

**Editor’s note: Target 8 investigator Ken Kolker was tested for COVID-19 on March 17 after returning from a conference where two participants tested positive. This is another installment in his daily journal.

>>Journal: Days 1-6 | Day 7

March 25:

Day 8 of waiting for COVID-19 test results. A Mercy Health doctor calls me at 8:30 this morning. Test results: Negative. Wow.

But my doctor later tells me he’s not so sure, especially since my symptoms continue.

First, the reason for such a long delay, and it involves an earthquake, according to the doctor at Mercy Health. Wasn’t expecting that.

Mercy Health sent my sample and others taken on March 17 to ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, which was then hit by an earthquake. ARUP then sent the samples on to a Quest lab, which then processed them, the Mercy Health doctor says.

They say there’ve been other reasons for delays, including miscommunications, but Mercy Health has just found a new local lab and says the results should start returning in 24 hours. That’s great news.

My symptoms are still the same, maybe a little worse. Heavy chest, dry cough, but fever feels gone.

My doc, Dr. Steve Triesenberg, orders CT scan at Mercy Health to rule out blood clots. The scan finds none. He believes I have an airway obstructive disease brought on by a virus, maybe even coronavirus. He also says there’ve been a lot of false negatives with these tests.

So, he sends his nurse, Brittany, to my home. She jams Q-tips up both nostrils (this time it actually hurt a bit) to test for COVID-19. It’s a test provided by my doc’s office. The doc is prescribing an inhaler with a steroid.

Ken Kolker’s nose is swabbed as he is tested for a second time for coronavirus. This time, a nurse came to his home. (March 25, 2020)

So now, I’m waiting for new test results. This time, it’s being sent to the local lab, and I’m told results should take 24 hours.

More acts of kindness: News 8 sports director Jack Doles drops off his homemade lasagna and his world-famous cookies. (Jealousy races through News 8 newsroom). My mom and Papa Bill drop off his homemade chili.

One last thing: There’s no medicine like sunshine.