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Infectious disease doctor who had COVID-19 scare says testing needs to be improved

Infectious disease doctor who had COVID-19 scare says testing needs to be improved
Posted at 2:32 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 10:42:50-04

An infectious disease doctor from Virginia is sharing her COVID-19 story and says testing needs to improve.

Dr. Mary Schmidt started feeling sick when she left Aspen, Colorado, on March 1. Her symptoms included a sore throat, sneezing and burning eyes. She also needed her asthma inhaler more, but her fever never hit 100.

Once she heard about a group of people infected in Aspen, she figured she had it.

“So, I call the health department hotline and said I’m an infectious disease physician, I need to get tested and she said, ‘well you can only get tested here if you had contact with one of the people in our county’ and I thought ‘are you kidding me?’”

Dr. Schmidt’s primary doctor didn't have the means to test, so she swabbed herself and then contacted other doctors she knew to get tested.

The results came back negative, but she thinks she didn't swab hard enough. She also did an antibody test, but that didn't have clear results.

“We need to make sure we get the test really sensitive and accurate first, make sure we're understanding what’s going on, how are bodies respond to this virus, what part of the virus helps create that long term antibody, so we can test people correctly, because to be quite honest, we won’t be able to pick a group vaccine that’s going to be protective if we don’t understand that piece,” said Dr. Schmidt.

Dr. Schmidt is now working with companies to make better testing tools.

Coronavirus Testing Sites - Kern County

View Testing Locations Map



State-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free, but if have insurance they will bill
  • No screening criteria

Kern County Fairgrounds
1142 South P Street, Building 4, Access Gate 27

Rosamond Library
3611 Rosamond Blvd, Rosamond CA 93560

Arvin Public Health
204 S Hill Street, Arvin

Wasco Library
1102 7th Street




County-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free
  • No screening criteria
  • Operating with existing provider

Oildale - Good Samaritan Hospital
901 Olive Drive, Bakersfield
  • For Registration call (661) 215-7725
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Ridgecrest - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest
  • For Registration: Text the word "testing" to 833-774-4968 Or Call 866-774-9984
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Delano - Delano Regional Medical Center
1401 Garces Hwy, Delano
  • No Drive-Thru option
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Kern River Valley - Kern Valley Hospital
6412 Laurel Ave, Mt Mesa Wheelchair Logo
  • For Registration call (760) 379-2681 ext 267
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Wednesday - Thursday from 7 am - 2 pm.
Tehachapi - Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley
1100 Magellan Dr 93561

Lamont - Kern County Library
8304 Segrue Road, Lamont, CA 93241
  • For registration call 661-869-6018
  • Drive-Thru and Walk-Up<
  • Testing available for ages 5+ only; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9 am - 2 pm; Tuesday, Thursday 2 pm - 7 pm

Taft - West Side Health Care District
  • For Registration call (661) 765-1935
  • Drive-Thru<
  • TTesting available for all ages; parents must be present and give consent for children
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm & 3 pm – 7 pm; Saturday 11 am – 3 pm