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Woman runs into issues while attempting to get COVID-19 test to avoid travel quarantine

Charles Molineaux
Updated: November 04, 2020 11:25 PM
Created: November 04, 2020 10:45 PM

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Webster woman says she’s running into a glitch as she tries to take advantage of New York’s new option to “test out” of coronavirus quarantine, the tab for testing.

"I kind of got caught, I guess,” sighed Louise Andrews, planning to return home to the Rochester area from Fort Myers Florida, declaring that the new coronavirus travel rules surprised her while she was in Florida and would be an issue at the airport.

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"I certainly can't show them that I've had a Covid test,” she said.

Under new procedures unveiled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, travelers who get tested for COVID-19 before they come back to New York, then get tested again once they get here, can avoid two weeks of quarantine.

Andrews looked for testing at CVS, and Walgreens, and local urgent care there in Fort Myers and was told the test would be covered by one of her two insurance plans, MVP and Excellus.

But then she checked.

"I called Excellus And they said no, it would not be covered because it was not medically necessary."

A spokesman for the New York State Department of Health says "testing costs are covered by insurance or Medicaid for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider."

But Andrews says she even called her doctor’s office and was told if she didn't have any symptoms or underlying conditions, she was on her own.

"I could possibly be out $400. And I guess I'm really just not willing to do that,” she exclaimed.  “So I think I'll just get off the plane and figure I'll do what I have to.”

In an email, the health department representative said "the travel guidelines require all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out of state, to take personal responsibility for compliance in the best interest of public health and safety. "  

Louise Andrews says she hopes for more coordination with testing centers to help would-be travelers.

"So, beware. Beware if you're going to travel,” she cautioned. "Many plan on heading back for the holidays and then will head back so good luck."


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