Georgia coronavirus patient says hospital initially sent him home

‘It’s been a long road, but I’m getting through it,' Clay Bentley tells CNN

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Georgia man who tested positive for the new coronavirus spoke with CNN while he was under quarantine in a room at a hospital just outside of Atlanta.

Clay Bentley said he went to the hospital last week because he was feeling extremely ill. He said the hospital gave him a test for the flu, which came back negative, and because he hadn’t traveled out of the country to one of the affected countries, the hospital didn’t test him for COVID-19.

”So they sent me home on Monday. Well, I progressively got worse over the next few days. I wound up calling the hospital on Friday morning and said, ‘I feel like y’all sent me home to die.’ I said, ‘I’m getting worse, I’m getting worse.’ They told me to come immediately back to the hospital," Bentley, who has viral pneumonia and fluid in his lungs, told CNN. “It’s been a long road, but I’m getting through it. I’m improving daily."

He said he believes he contracted the coronavirus at church.

“I was in a church, singing in a church choir in front of 100 people,” Bentley said.

According to doctors, Bentley’s case could be one of community transmission. Or, Bentley said, it’s possible he got the coronavirus from his wife, who works as an airline stewardess. He said she’s not experiencing any symptoms, but she’s taking precautions.

“She can’t fly because she’s been in contact with me. She has not been sick. She does fly, but she flies up and down the coast, she doesn’t fly out of the country. But that’s doesn’t mean she hasn’t flown with someone on a plane who has been out of the country,” Bentley said. “It could have come through that, too.”

He told CNN his wife has yet to be tested for the coronavirus.

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A case similar to Bentley’s was reported in South Georgia. A 29-year-old Charlton County woman who went to Southeast Georgia Health Systems’ campus in Camden County on Saturday with respiratory symptoms was treated and released but returned to the hospital Monday and has since preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19, the hospital announced Wednesday.

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