North Aurora man waited 11 days for COVID-19 test results

  • Greg Booth says he wasn't able to hug his daughter, Amelia, during the 11 days he spent in isolation in the basement of his North Aurora house. Now he's wondering why it took so long to get the results of a COVID-19 test he took on March 18.

    Greg Booth says he wasn't able to hug his daughter, Amelia, during the 11 days he spent in isolation in the basement of his North Aurora house. Now he's wondering why it took so long to get the results of a COVID-19 test he took on March 18. Courtesy of Greg Booth

 
 
Updated 3/29/2020 10:12 AM

Greg Booth spent 11 days in self-isolation in the basement of his North Aurora house because he feared he had the coronavirus.

Then, after battling symptoms and coping with being separated from his young family, Booth finally learned on Saturday night that the COVID-19 test he took on March 18 at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva was negative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Now the 35-year-old attorney is wondering why he had to wait nearly two weeks to get his test results.

"I'm happy that I'm able to get out of my quarantine knowing that I don't have coronavirus," said Booth, adding that he's been feeling better physically.

But, he said, "There's no reason why it should take this long to get results," he said.

For more than a week, Booth contacted multiple sources -- including Delnor, the Kane County Health Department and his doctor -- with little success.

"Nobody knew what was going on or where my test results were," he said.

Booth said he decided to isolate himself after developing a fever, chills and body aches on March 17.

He was able to stay in the basement because it has a full bathroom. Meanwhile, his wife and 1-year-old daughter remained upstairs.

When he felt a tightness in his chest on March 18, he called his asthma doctor, who ordered a flu test. After the test came back negative two hours later, Booth got a drive-through COVID-19 test.

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He was told he would get the results in three days. But instead of getting the test results on March 21, he went to Delnor's emergency room because he had a high fever, tightness in his chest and was coughing up blood.

"I have asthma, so I'm in a high-risk group," Booth said.

However, he said, he was discharged and sent home when the results of his chest X-ray were negative. Booth said he struggled at home with a fever for four days and a cough for six days.

During his isolation period, Booth worked remotely and had no direct contact with his wife and daughter. His wife left his meals at the top of the stairs. He communicated with his family through FaceTime and text messages.

Meanwhile, he couldn't get any answers about his COVID-19 test results -- until Saturday. He was told his test was sent to a lab in California, and the results wouldn't be available until Monday or later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

After the Daily Herald reached out to Northwestern Medicine, a representative of the health system called Booth and told him officials were looking into what happened. He got his test results an hour later.

"I'm wondering if phone calls were made and something was pushed to the top," Booth said. "Because it's a little unusual to get a call at 7:30 p.m. saying your results are in."

Booth still doesn't know what he had, but he's thankful it wasn't coronavirus. After getting the results on Saturday night, he was poised to go upstairs and take a shower.

"I'm going to put my daughter to bed tonight," he said. "So I'm looking forward to that."

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