LD39 Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi has tested negative for coronavirus.
The Holy Name Hospital VP had announced on Sunday evening that she was under self-quarantine after developing symptoms following exposure to people who were in direct contact with someone who has coronavirus.
The Bergen County lawmaker posted the following on Facebook on Thursday evening:
‘Eleven days ago I was run down from back to back 18 hour days attending events all over NJ, traveling to and from Atlantic City, Washington, DC and college tours in the tristate area and I wasn’t feeling myself. Ten days ago I learned I had been in close contact with several people who were self quarantining as a result of direct contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients. I sought medical advice and was told that I didn’t have to self quarantine unless I too developed symptoms. The next day I woke up with a 100 degree fever, severe headache, aches, cough, tickle in the back of my throat and intestinal issues. My symptoms worsened and I got tested. That was a week ago today. I was told it would take 3-4 days to receive my result. Getting my result was especially important as a close family member was slated to begin radiation and as a result will fall into an immune compromised category plus I needed to know as I had interacted with hundreds of people in the days prior to not feeling well. I waited. I self quarantined. I stopped hugging my children. I stopped interacting with my family. I did everything we are asked to do. I worried to death as to whether or not I infected someone else. I waited. I self monitored. I watched my temperature go up and down. I watched my blood pressure sky rocket and my oxygen levels decrease. I waited day in and day out. When day 4 arrived I called for my results. I was told it would be 5 more days to get them. In those 4 days the world changed significantly. Guidance as to who should self quarantine, how the infection spreads changed. Hospitals started to fill up. I laid awake wondering if I had it how many people could I have infected? I watched people throw block parties, call the virus a hoax, pretend like it didn’t exist. On social media people debated whether this would ever actually hit our communities. I decided to take a scary step and let people know that I was awaiting my test. I wanted those hundreds of people I was with in the days prior to monitor themselves for symptoms. Indeed 3 people I was with immediately before I self quarantined all had very similar head and respiratory issues and got tested themselves. I caught backlash and flak for revealing my own situation. From a public health perspective I believe strongly that it was the right thing to do. I have been in self quarantine for 10 days. Yesterday my uncle got brought to the hospital with double pneumonia and possible COVID-19. I spent the past day wondering if I somehow was indirectly responsible for his infection. It tore me up. Tonight I learned that I tested negative and had a different virus this entire time. None of us knows at this point who has it or who doesn’t. For people like my uncle let us all act as if each of us do. I’m grateful I am negative but there are so many around us who will not be as lucky as me.’
Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-39), a member of the Assembly Health Committee, said the feds need to provide New Jersey with more test kits for the coronavirus and oversee better turn around time by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for testing.
The Republican lawmaker from Bergen County said she is hearing from her constituents on those critical fronts and is deeply concerned.
“I spoke with someone who had symptoms consistent with a milder case, who was advised by their doctor not to get tested and to stay at home.”
Schepisi said that’s not good enough.
“We have no idea about the magnitude of community spread,” the lawmaker told InsiderNJ. “We were way too slow with responding to this crisis.”