By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota mother is asking questions while her family fights COVID-19. She believes a lapse in test results and contact tracing may have made more people sick.

It was last Monday night, Oct. 12, when Jacqueline Jorgensen’s first-grader showed symptoms.

“I could tell she was sick, 103-degree fever, stuffy nose,” she said.

On Tuesday, they opted for the COVID-19 rapid antigen test at a Sartell clinic.

“You don’t want to wait three or five days you want the instant rapid results,” she said. “Before we left the office they told us she was positive.”

Later that week, Jorgensen herself got sick.  So did her older daughter. Again, rapid tests on both, this time at a local drugstore, confirmed COVID-19.

“I didn’t hear from anybody until Tuesday when they called on my oldest daughter, the last one tested,” Jorgensen said.

That call from Minnesota’s Department of Health was to conduct contact tracing for Abby.

“I said, ‘Well, you’re calling about Abby, but what about Charlie? She tested positive a week ago,’” she said.

It’s when she learned the Minnesota Department of Health had no record of her case or her younger daughter’s.

“How many other people then have tested positive and had no contact tracing? They’re not in the system, I don’t know where those results go,” she said.

A health department spokesperson told WCCO privacy laws prevent them from commenting on individual cases, but in general you’ll be contacted within two days of the state receiving positive results.  If that doesn’t happen, like in the Jorgensen home, there’s a glitch in the system. One that right now the Minnesota Department of Health told us it’s working to resolve.

“It’s frightening because my youngest daughter was at a birthday party, they were at a friend’s house, they were going to the pumpkin patch,” Jorgensen recalled.

An infected person can spread the virus two days before showing symptoms, leaving Jorgensen worried now what her family may have unknowingly spread to others.

“Makes things more confusing. Definitely,” Jorgensen said.

The Minnesota Department of Health told us those rapid antigen tests are treated equally with contact tracing.  The state says in some cases they must search for contact information and that can cause delays.  Late Thursday afternoon, Jorgensen called again and the Minnesota Department of Health told her they still have no record of her results.

Liz Collin

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