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Latino couple says they were denied COVID-19 testing despite guideline changes

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — The Oregon Health Authority changed guidelines more than a month ago, urging more COVID-19 testing for certain groups, but one couple says those guidelines aren’t as straightforward as they seem.

The couple is Latino and said they thought under new OHA guidelines that testing was to be more readily available for racial and ethnic minorities.

The guidelines were released on April 21, and in them the OHA said it was urging clinics to increase testing for groups disproportionately affected by the virus, including racial and ethnic minorities. So, Michael and Milady Lopez thought it would be simple to get tested.

“We thought it was going to be quick and easy, and unfortunately, that wasn’t the case,” Michael said.

“Already, for us the Latino community, it’s fearful and frightening to hear that it’s specific people,” said Milady.

The two leave for California on Friday to visit Michael’s family. The two wanted to make sure that they were testing negative so they wouldn’t infect his family.

“There’s health issues in the family, so we just wanted to be really careful,” Milady said.

The couple called Kaiser, their health provider, to set up testing. But a doctor told them they didn’t qualify.

“He said that he wasn’t able to give us the test if we weren’t showing any symptoms,” Michael said.

They then called OHSU and received the same response.

“It was definitely weird to not have that alignment with what I saw and what the healthcare providers were saying,” Michael said.

The couple says it’s frustrating knowing that minority communities are more likely to be infected by the virus, and then not be able to know if they have it.

“To go and try and get tested because you’re hearing this and to go and not get tested and be denied it, it’s fearful, but now you’re adding confusion to it,” Milady said.

Now, they’re heading to California anyways, hoping for the best.

“It is concerning a bit, but there’s nothing we can do about it at this point,” said Michael.

FOX 12 Oregon reached out to OHA for clarification on testing guidelines for minority groups but did not hear back by time of publication.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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