New Virus Test Delights Senior Who Waited So Long for Hers


Susanne Randall Wearing a Face Mask Similar to the One a Doctor Gave Her During Her Covid-19 Test in Portland.

Some People are Getting Creative with the Face Masks They are Making.  His Roommate Is Making Them for Friends.

“The waiting made me nervous.  It made me nervous waiting for my doctor to respond to my original request for a COVID test,” said Susanne Randall, 65, this afternoon at her Portland senior housing apartment.  Randall is one of close to 8,500 Maine residents who have tested negatively for the COVID-19 test. “I was relieved to get the good results, but I knew I would test negative for the test,” Randall said.

Before she was tested, Randall wore a face mask because she had bronchitis and wanted to protect fellow residents – some with compromised immune systems – from her bronchitis – a condition she has suffered from for years.  She also has asthma and allergies which she has dealt with all of her life. Randall was encouraged by the facility management to get tested for COVID-19 to protect herself and the other residents with underlying conditions.

It took almost two weeks from her original request to her doctor for the test before she received the negative results of the test. “I was relieved, but I knew I would test negative,” she said today.

A week ago this past Saturday, Randall received a telephone call from a nurse at the Family Practice, Congress Street, at 9:30 am.  She was told to be at the lab on St. John Street in two hours – at 11:30 am for the test.  There she was given hand sanitizer and a face mask similar to the one shown above left.  After describing her symptoms, the doctor told her she did not need the test. Following the “ouch” test, Randall was told it would take 5 – 7 days to get the results back to her.  And she was told to keep her cell phone on because the call could come at any time. Between the Saturday of the test and last Saturday when she got the phone call with the results, she had to self-quarantine.  She said she was concerned that she might miss the call somehow.  She didn’t though.

Prior to her test day, a week ago this past Saturday, Randall called her doctor.  It was a Tuesday she recalls easily. After describing her symptoms, the doctor told her she did not need a test.  “But I live in a community of senior citizens and some of them are vulnerable.  I have to have the test.” It was four days from her initial call to her doctor until she received the call a week ago Saturday telling her she had a same day appointment  for the test.  “I was afraid that if I missed that call, I’d have to start all over again and go to the end of the line for another appointment,” she said grinning.

When she learned of the new rapid response test being produced by Maine’s Abbott Laboratories, Scarborough, she was elated.  “What a wonderful service this will be to our community.  Because of the rapid respond, this will eliminate a lot of waiting and stress.  I don’t wish what I experienced for anyone else.” Randall said.

Please see previous post herein, dated April 1, 2020,  for more information on the Abbott Lab’s new rapid response test for COVID-19.