Port Charlotte woman says hospital won’t test her for coronavirus after travel

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Shannon Velazquez. Shared with Credit: WINK News.

A woman in Port Charlotte is worried she could be ill with the coronavirus (COVID-19) after returning from a trip to the United Kingdom, but health professionals won’t test her for the virus. At this point, she just wants to know what’s wrong with her, so she can start getting better.

We spoke to Shannon Velazquez in Port Charlotte Monday after she returned from her six-month stay in England. She told us she went to the hospital twice since her return to Southwest Florida, but she said doctors have not tested her for coronavirus, and her symptoms are not improving.

Velazquez said she is worried for her safety and those around her. This comes after she spent half a year between Liverpool and London.

“She got a high fever of about a 102,” said Ezra Deans, Velazquez’s partner. “Then when we landed, we got home, and, through the night, she started to go downhill.”

Velazquez’s medical history makes her vulnerable. She battled cancer previously and has lupus.

Velazquez visited Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte hoping to rule out the coronavirus but didn’t get tested.

“They said that basically right now that they’ve been given guidelines of having to test for other things to rule out other things before they can test for corona,” Deans said.

Doctors released Velazquez from the hospital after ruling out the flu and strep throat. But her symptoms continued to worsen. She returned to the hospital Sunday night and again left without a coronavirus test.

“I’m worried that she’s not going to be able to recover because she’s already weakened,” Deans said. “And that is a big, big concern. And I think really they should be doing more.”

A Fawcett Memorial spokeswoman told us the hospital is following health department and CDC guidelines for testing.

Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state is working with private labs to expand coronavirus testing capabilities.

Velazquez plans to go back to the hospital, still seeking answers.

“If it’s corona or not, I just want to feel better,” Velazquez told WINK News. “If I knew, that would be great.”

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.