TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) - An Oklahoma woman is warning others not to solely rely on negative test results amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite exhibiting symptoms, she received four tests and only one came back positive for the virus.
Lesley Shollmier is warning others about potential inaccurate testing and urging them to stay home to quarantine, even if they get a negative test result.
“Don’t trust a negative COVID test. If you have the symptoms, especially that loss of taste and smell, you have to stay home,” she said.
Shollmier felt cold-like symptoms on Nov. 23. She took a rapid COVID-19 test at the emergency room and received a negative result. But the day after Thanksgiving, her symptoms worsened when she lost her sense of taste and smell.
“I immediately knew this is COVID. I just knew that that was one of the classic symptoms, and regardless of anything, I have to have it. As odd as it sounds, I was fortunate to have that symptom, so that I knew for sure that I was doing the right thing,” Shollmier said.
She began quarantining from everyone, including her husband, and took two additional COVID tests. These two were PCR tests, which are more accurate than rapid tests. Both came back negative.
But Shollmier says she trusted her gut and reached out to her primary doctor for a fourth test.
“I said, ‘What would you think about me doing another PCR test through your clinic?’ She was like ‘Well, I don’t know. We could try it, but really, usually, they are pretty effective. I was pretty insistent though. I knew in my gut I had it,” she said.
On day 12 of having symptoms, Shollmier’s fourth test came back positive. She went online to share her experience and to warn people not to rely on a test too much.
“I am generally a pretty private person, but I thought people really need to know that just because you test negative does not mean that you do not have COVID and that you couldn’t possibly cause someone else to get it as well,” she said.
Shollmier encourages everyone to wear a mask to help protect other people and to stay home if experiencing any symptoms.
“Listen to your gut. Know when you’re sick and when you need to stay home, and just because you get that negative test doesn’t mean that you’re negative,” she said.