Symptom free after battling COVID-19? Government says another test isn't a priority
Published Sunday, April 5, 2020 9:15PM EDT
MONTREAL -- Quebec is no longer testing COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the virus, leaving residents who were infected but who are now symptom-free with many questions.
Sebastien Corbeil and his husband Patrick both began feeling ill after returning from a trip to the United States, including fever. The two both tested positive for COVID-19 and stayed home for almost two weeks as their symptoms worsened.
“For four days we had the bag ready for me because it was really, really, really bad,” said Corbeil.
Sunday marked the twentieth day since their symptoms appeared and both said they are feeling fine. The pair want to be tested again, saying a negative test would allow them to go out and run errands knowing they aren't putting others in danger.
But Corbeil said they were denied when he tried to make an appointment due to no longer being eligible for a test.
Premier Francois Legault said those who have recovered won't be tested due to “a question of priority.”
“Eventually, we'll test those people but right now it's more urgent to identify the positive cases,” he said.
Public health advisor Richard Masse said a second test isn't a necessity.
“When it's already 14 days that people have had since the beginning of their disease and they have been symptom-free for 48 hours, we know those people are okay,” he said. “They won't transmit to others.”
Corbeil said despite those assurances, he's still nervous. When he called 811, the operator told him to go to the testing clinic at Place-des-Arts and say he was still symptomatic to obtain another test.
“That's the thing, you just want to feel secure and have your life back,” he said.