The family of the first and only Los Angeles coronavirus death is speaking out.
They lost their aunt, but now, the family says even her husband, who administered CPR to try to save his beloved wife, is being denied a test for the coronavirus.
“She was the sweetest, always happy,” Victoria Do and Katarina Fajardo described their aunt Loretta from Florida. “She was fighter, a breast cancer survivor.”
Loretta also recently retired, her family said, so there was much to celebrate. Loretta, her husband, along with Victoria and Katarina’s dad and stepmom went to the Philippines.
They returned to LA in early March, feeling exhausted.
“I think within 6 hours of getting in the hospital, she passed away,” Victoria said about her aunt.
Aunt Loretta died on March 10.
What they thought was maybe jet lag turned out to be COVID-19, the deadly virus that has shut down cities and countries and killed thousands.
“And we can’t do anything for my uncle because he’s in isolation; we can’t go console him or anything,” Victoria said.
Their uncle, dad and stepmom are now in all self-isolation at their Walnut home. All of them are feeling symptoms of the deadly coronavirus that killed Loretta, but doctors say they can’t get tested–not even Loretta’s husband who performed CPR on his wife.
“All three had fevers,” Victoria said. “My dad was the highest at 99.8. The other two were just a little above normal, but we were told by the public health nurse, per CDC guidelines, it’s not high enough.”
Loretta’s husband was even told by his health provider in Florida there are no tests available.
“People are not getting tested when they should be,” Victoria said. “People are posting everywhere, ‘Oh I’m getting tested. I have no symptoms’ Why are these people getting tests?”
The nieces are frustrated and desperately trying to get their family help. While health officials vow more tests are available, the family of the only person to die from the coronavirus in LA County says those tests are not getting to the people who need them most.
“I know other people have been tested who are celebrities, that have not been in contact or have not had any symptoms,” Victoria said.
She added, “Korea’s testing over 200,000 people a day. I don’t understand why we have to go through all these hoops to get people tested.”