After family struggles to get coronavirus test results, Manassas man found positive for COVID-19

Titou Phommachanh (left) tested positive for COVID-19 on March 15, according to his wife, Amanda Phommachanh.

After struggling to get COVID-19 test results for days, the family of a Manassas man learned Sunday that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

Titou Phommachanh has started an experimental drug treatment at Inova Fairfax Hospital, according to his wife, Amanda Phommachanh, who spoke with InsideNoVa on Monday.

The couple has been married for more than 12 years and has three daughters, ages 6, 7 and 9.

The family waited for days for test results for Titou, 44, but only received them after an NBC4 report on Amanda’s concern about delays.

“It’s been frustrating and devastating,” she told InsideNoVa.

After having flu-like symptoms for about eight days, during which time he tested negative for the flu, Titou was tested for COVID-19 on Thursday, March 12, around 10 a.m. On Monday, Amanda Phommachanh said she still doesn’t have the results of that original test. 

Instead, she says Gov. Ralph Northam ordered a new test after Amanda asks friends to reach out to the governor and a report from NBC4. Amanda Phommachanh said she received the test results Sunday, March 15, around 11:30 a.m. 

“It’s devastating. We feel helpless,” she said. 

Since receiving a positive test result for coronavirus, medical staff have begun Titou on a 10-day regiment of an experimental drug for coronavirus, his wife said.

The couple returned from a three-day trip to New York on March 1. Three days later, Amanda said her husband started having flu-like symptoms. She said in total he had eight days of flu-like symptoms before he experienced respiratory problems; that part came “quick and hard,” she said.

She said her husband walked into the hospital Wednesday, March 11, and about a day later, he needed a ventilator to breathe.

Amanda said she and her daughters are under self-quarantine. Her oldest daughter was tested Friday due to an elevated fever, and they are waiting on those results. The rest of the family will not be tested until they are showing symptoms.

BROAD TESTING FRUSTRATIONS

Titou and Amanda aren’t the only people in Northern Virginia struggling with a lag in getting test results.

Dr. Michael McDermott, president and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare and chairman of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s COVID-19 committee described the lack of test kits as “a national disgrace” in an interview with The Free Lance-Star on Saturday.

Virginia has been allocated a limited number of tests — “it’s not in the thousands, it’s in the hundreds,” McDermott said. 

After contradictory information from federal officials about access to testing over the past several days, Admiral Brett Giroir with the Department of Health and Human Services said during a White House press conference Sunday that a massive expansion is expected this week.

“So we’re going from somewhat manual, relatively slow phases, to a testing regimen that we can test many tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of individuals per week and maybe even more,” Giroir said. “We will have 1.9 million of these high-throughput tests available this week with numerous labs, up to 2,000, starting to turn the lights on beginning this week and rolling out over the week.”

(11) comments

Jimi Weaver

Please stop! This is not a Democratic vs. Republican fight. This is a serious health & economic issue that needs all Americans to come together like only true Americans can. The vast moderate majority of this country is so tired of the fringe left & fringe right making everything about politics. We don’t want to hear your squabbling & just wish you all could just shut up for a while

Daisy320

A story about the testing shortages is great and all, but how about answers to other questions about this case? Why is this relatively young man in such serious condition? Did he have any underlying health concerns or is the severity due to the delay in testing? What places did this guy or his family visit after their trip to New York before they self quarantined? I heard through a friend about this guy two days ago, so why is the media just now getting the word out? People should ba able to know what places they may have been exposed through known cases.

Brad London

Sorry Dawg and Soily, but swandive is 100% correct in laying a huge amount of blame at the feet of the Trump administration. For weeks and weeks Trump and his cronies and the conservative media downplayed the seriousness of what was happening in other countries, claiming it was a hoax, and even when it first appeared in the US he still deflected and said it would pass through quickly. And here we are, in a now national emergency and the administration trying to play catch-up while people are dying. Any leadership for this terrible situation has come from the state and local leaders, who have had to step up because Trump wouldn't. Thank God our governor has taken steps to protect us. Trump is only concerned because the stock market has been tanking and his bilking of the American people has slowed.

And lest we forget, it was Trump and Bolton who in 2018 disbanded the global health security team and leader who would have been responsible for the preparation of responses to the pandemic we are now facing. So any blame is on the person who's supposed to be in charge now but showed how incompetent he really is. But at least he can still play golf every weekend.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/10/top-white-house-official-in-charge-of-pandemic-response-exits-abruptly/

BigDawg

Brad, Your source of info is the Washington Post! The blame game has long since past. I wonder what you do with your free time? Is it helping the needy or the homeless or perhaps trying to run the free world? It's time to move on and fight this togeather but somehow, I don't belive you can move past your political affiliations to do that. What a waste of time and effort.

Martin Geter

"If you go back to the swine flu, it was nothing like this. They didnt do testing like this, and actually they lost 14k people and they didnt do testing" --Trump attempting to deflect attention to the Obama admin w/ an outright lie. In actuality, swine flu test were made available less than 2 weeks after the virus was identified and before the 1st US death occured, the way coronavirus testing should have been handled....if only we had a competent president in office right now

BigDawg

You're such a demo libtard tool. You can't think of anything but your hatred for a political party that you have to say such nonsense! Get a life - look around you. This isn't a normal, everyday situation. GROW UP!

Martin Geter

Which part is nonsense? Trump's pathetic deflection attempt, or my assessment of it?

Paul Benedict

If you remember, Swine flu happened early in the Obama regime before he had a chance to fill agencies with the incompetent dufuses so many agencies have today. From day one Trump has not only had to deal with this built-in dead weight of worthless woke federal employees (whose first priority is ideological adhereance) who even in an emergecy fight against him. And Congress is worthless. Instead of working with the President to control our borders they, make up false conspiracies to try and impeach him.

Paul Benedict

And I forgot to mention, Obama waited until 1,000 Americans (mostly under age 30) were dead before declaring an emergency. According to the CDC about 60 million Americans eventually got Swine Flu and over 18,000 died.

Martin Geter

Lies...Obama declared a public health emergencyl on April 26, 2009 after 20 or so US deaths and requested Congress approve a funding package on April 29. He declared it a national emergency on October, after 1K deaths. Your comment is twisted and misleading. Get your facts straight.

Martin Geter

Yea, disbanding the NSC Pandemic unit was an example of his dealing "with built-in dead weight of worthless woke federal employees"[rolleyes]. Smart move...get rid of the folks whose job it is to help manage things the Coronavirus, Yep, he did a great job of getting rid of dead weight...NOT!!!

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