BOSTON - State Representative Michael Day, who represents both Winchester and Stoneham in the State House, has tested positive for COVID-19. Rep. Day wrote:
“On Monday, March 23, I was informed that I had tested positive for the novel virus, COVID-19.
I was first symptomatic in the early evening of Thursday, March 12, when I began to feel a little off and went to bed early. Over the course of the next four days, until Tuesday afternoon, March 17, I would intermittently run a low-grade fever and feel some aches and chills. It felt like a mild case of the flu.
“Given my symptoms, I self-quarantined at home with my wife and children and we immediately practiced social distancing. On Saturday, March 14, I called my primary care physician to report my symptoms. The on-call doctor who answered my call told me that I did have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and asked me to call Lawrence General Hospital to connect with its COVID-19 hotline for further instructions. The person answering that phone asked about my symptoms and again confirmed that they were consistent with the novel virus.
“However, because I had not been out of the country and did not know if someone in my workplace had confirmation of testing positive, I was instructed to continue monitoring my symptoms, to practice social distancing and to call back if my symptoms worsened. I did not qualify for a test at that point.
“By Tuesday, March 17, I was outwardly symptom-free. My fever had broken the night before and the aches and fatigue had largely subsided by that afternoon. Late that afternoon I was informed that someone at the State House had tested positive for COVID-19. I called back to Lawrence General Hospital the next morning and they told me to head up for testing.
“After providing my name at the emergency room entrance, I was given a fresh mask to wear and asked to wait in my car until called. Within 10 minutes, I received a call asking me to re-enter the emergency room and then escorted into another room where two doctors dressed in head-to-toe scrubs and personal protective equipment asked me similar questions about my recent health history and interactions with others.
“Then they asked me to look to the ceiling before they administered the COVID-19 test, which consisted of a long stick with a cotton swab on the end of it. They inserted the stick all the way to the back of my nostril, making my eyes water. It was not pleasant, but it also took less than 10 seconds. The doctors, both exceedingly professional and empathetic, actually apologized for any discomfort they caused me.
“I was then led out of the hospital and back to the parking lot. I was told I should expect to hear within 48 hours if I was positive, and if I didn’t hear anything within the next five days I could call back to confirm but I was, in all likelihood, negative.
“On Monday, as I did every day before, I handled my normal calls with state and local officials throughout the morning. Late on Monday afternoon I received a call from the hospital informing me that I had indeed tested positive for COVID-19.
“I am deeply appreciative and thankful for the work being done by our health care professionals and our government officials throughout this pandemic. I have been only mildly ill given my exposure to COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for more than a week now. The quarantine protocol will end on Thursday March 26 but I have decided that I will continue to self-quarantine with my family for an extended period beyond that. We will continue to monitor ourselves as our health care professionals have advised. Thankfully my wife and children have remained symptom-free throughout this time.
“I encourage everyone to continue practicing social distancing and to follow the guidance and advice of our medical professionals. For those looking to provide assistance during these uncertain times, please continue to support your local businesses and make financial contributions to our community hospitals and food pantries so that they can continue to serve those in need.
“I will continue to work remotely on behalf of the residents of Stoneham and Winchester and the Commonwealth during this public health crisis and I thank you for your concerns. Be well.”