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Fit ex-soldier says she was turned away from coronavirus testing centre despite severe symptoms

An ex-soldier claims she has been left to suffer in her own home after being refused testing for coronavirus because she didn’t meet the requirements.  

Kelly Nelson, 33, is self-isolating at her Williamstown home in Melbourne after claiming to have been rejected from the Sunshine Bay COVID-19 clinic on Saturday afternoon.

Ms Nelson said the clinic staff told her they were unable to test her because they didn’t have enough kits. 

‘They’re only testing people who have been overseas in the past two weeks. There is no point in going back. The only point I would be able to go back and get tested for coronavirus was if I was going to die,’ she said. 

‘I’m still out of breath, I’m still throwing up, I still have a severe headache. The thing about this is, what happens if I get worse overnight, what are they going to do?’

An ex military member says she has been left to suffer in her own home after being refused testing for coronavirus because she didn't meet the guidelines

An ex military member says she has been left to suffer in her own home after being refused testing for coronavirus because she didn’t meet the guidelines

Kelly Nelson, 33, is self-isolating at her Williamstown home in Melbourne after claiming to have been rejected from the Sunshine Bay COVID-19 clinic (pictured) on Saturday afternoon

Kelly Nelson, 33, is self-isolating at her Williamstown home in Melbourne after claiming to have been rejected from the Sunshine Bay COVID-19 clinic (pictured) on Saturday afternoon

‘Can I go back to hospital? No. Because they’re not going to test me for coronavirus. They didn’t give me any antibiotics, they didn’t give me anything. I’m just in the same position as I was had I not left the house.’

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 3,640

New South Wales: 1,617

Victoria: 685

Queensland: 625

South Australia: 287

Western Australia: 278

Australian Capital Territory: 71

Tasmania: 62

Northern Territory: 15

TOTAL CASES:  3,640

DEAD: 14

Ms Nelson attended the clinic around 1.30pm on Saturday March 28 about 48 hours after she started experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.

The young woman, who spent 16 years in the military, said she started to suffer from a mild sore throat about two days ago.

She put it out of her mind until she woke in the middle of Friday night struggling to breathe, with uncontrollable bowel movements and vomiting.

After a sleepless night she got up the next day with a severe headache and a shortness of breath so bad speaking was difficult.  

‘I don’t like to be dramatic, and I don’t want to obviously go to hospital but I was feeling that sick that I needed to go,’ she said. 

Hospital staff assist people waiting in line to be screened for COVID-19 outside the Royal Melbourne Hospital

Hospital staff assist people waiting in line to be screened for COVID-19 outside the Royal Melbourne Hospital

She called the COVID-19 hotline was advised to go to the Sunshine Hospital for testing, but upon arrival after a quick quiz by the nurses she was told she didn’t qualify for testing.

The reason: she hadn’t been overseas in the past two weeks. 

Ms Nelson said the staff told her in confidence they were unable to test her because they had inadequate supplies. 

‘I pulled one of the male nurses aside and said I’ve got all the symptoms of this coronavirus. And he said, just between you and me- they won’t test you because they don’t have enough test kits to test everyone,’ she said.  

Ms Nelson (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia it seemed like the only way she'd get tested if she was at death's door

Ms Nelson (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia it seemed like the only way she’d get tested if she was at death’s door








The self described ‘fit and healthy individual’ went to the emergency department after being refused testing where she encountered another woman in a similar situation.  

‘She was in tears, she was quite distressed. She was talking to her husband on the phone saying how sick she was and she got turned away from the same testing unit, and she actually had a big fight with the lady and said I am so sick, you’re going to regret turning me away,’ she said. 

The 33-year-old said it’s outrageous the government is continuing to limit testing to Australians who have returned from overseas in the past few weeks.  

‘It’s not about the people who are coming back from overseas anymore. If you look at the numbers- which are now sitting at 3,600, up about 257 per day. That’s not people coming back from overseas- this is community spread. 

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia was sitting at 3,640 as of Sunday morning

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia was sitting at 3,640 as of Sunday morning

‘So they need to start testing people within the community. Not just people that are coming back overseas,’ she said.

‘Maybe there is a shortage of tests or maybe the government just doesn’t want to see how big the numbers are going to blow out once they start releasing the numbers of testing the community.’  

The federal government announced it was expanding its testing measures to include several new categories of people after a National Cabinet meeting on Wednesday night. 

Tests were previously limited to people who showed flu like symptoms and those who hda recently returned from overseas or come into contact with someone with COVID-19.

But new groups are now eligible for testing including health care workers, aged care workers, and people in hot spots- provided they are suffering from fever or extreme respiratory symptoms.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Victoria Health for comment. 

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Written by Angle News

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