A Tennessee woman died six months ago, but that didn’t stop the Shelby County Health Department from sending her a letter notifying her that she tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus and needed to self-quarantine, her bewildered son said Thursday.
Troy Whittington said he was surprised when he opened the letter this week from the Shelby County Health Department. He knew what was in that letter was false.
Whittington said a letter arrived from the Shelby County Health Department for his mother, Sandra Whittington. The letter says she has been diagnosed as COVID positive and needed to isolate.
That would be difficult, according to her obituary: the 66-year-old died February 16th. That was weeks before the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Shelby County.
“I’m just having a hard time understanding how they can say someone has COVID-19 when they are not even alive,” Whittington told the news outlet.
Imagine your mother has been dead for 6 months but she gets a letter saying she has been diagnosed with COVID 19 from a test that was supposedly taken in June ? Hear from her son tonight at 6! pic.twitter.com/GdxVgGMkFO
— Jeni DiPrizio (@local24jeni) September 3, 2020
“It’s been six months, almost seven, since she passed away,” he added. “There was no testing that was done at that time. On her death certificate it was stated she died, what the cause of death was, and it was not COVID-19. It was COPD.”
According to Whittington, his mother passed away following a battle with stage 4 COPD while in hospice. She was later cremated.
When Whittington contacted the health department, he was told his mother was tested for the virus on June 20th. Whittington explained:
It’s impossible for someone to be tested on June 20, who passed away on February 16th. I tried to call the health department this morning, ask them why this was going on. She said she would have to get a supervisor. She was sorry for the mistake or she couldn’t tell me any information till she got a supervisor, and I haven’t heard back from them.
The confusion has caused Whittington to both question the Shelby County Health Department’s coronavirus figures and nationwide statistics, he said.
“I would just like for the health department to be more accurate.” said the Millington resident. “They have a record of her death there. That is where I got the death certificate from, and it’s in the same building they’re sending out saying she is positive, which is not possible.”