Sharon Stone SHREDS Montana’s COVID Testing in Heartfelt Video
Actress Sharon Stone shared an emotional Instagram video yesterday (8/16), decrying Montana's COVID-19 response, particularly the lack of available testing for healthcare workers and the general public who are not showing symptoms of coronavirus, as well as the five-day delay when receiving test results.
In the 3:35 minute video, speaking directly to the camera and seemingly holding back tears, Sharon shares how her immediate family - who reside in an undisclosed location in Montana - have been impacted by COVID-19. She tells us that both her grandmother and godmother have died from the virus. Her sister (who has Lupus) and her sister's husband have now contracted COVID and are both currently hospitalized. Sharon mentions that her sister is fighting for her life. Watch here:
What really sets her off is what she says is the lack of available testing for nurses and hospital employees. Sharon added that her high-risk mother couldn't get a test after being potentially exposed. Sharon said she's been calling Governor Steve Bullock's office for answers to the lack of testing and test results delays. She said she's had no luck getting answers from the county health department where her family members are hospitalized (she says they have been hanging up on her), and compares the difference between "compassionate integrity vs. politics and greed" in the video.
In Yellowstone County, Riverstone Health initially offered free, drive-thru testing for individuals who were NOT showing any symptoms. As of July, the parameters were changed and now the public drive-thru testing (held at the Shrine Auditorium parking lot) is now only for "identified close contacts of people who are positive for COVID-19 and people with COVID-19 symptoms." Read more here. Riverstone Health says the change in testing guidelines was issued from the state:
We have suspended testing of asymptomatic people, at the direction of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). Because of a nationwide testing backlog, DPHHS has asked us to prioritize testing for people who are close contacts or have symptoms of COVID-19.
When my family thought we were potentially exposed to the virus in July and we asked to get tested, our primary care physician told us we could get a test if any of my family showed symptoms, otherwise we should self-quarantine for 14 days.
See St. Vincent Health Care's COVID-19 safety protocols HERE. See Billings Clinic's COVID-19 safety protocols HERE. I was unable to reach a representative from Billings Clinic or St. Vincent Hospital to inquire about their COVID testing protocol for hospital employees.