SEARCY, Ark. — A Harding University student is the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in White County.
Emily Davis is currently in quarantine at her home after learning her diagnosis Monday.
She says she initially went to the doctor thinking she had the flu or strep throat.
“I started getting hot flashes, develop a fever, and very hard to breathe. That’s one of the symptoms that scared me to get tested in the first place,” Davis explained.
Davis says she was going to a testing site in Searcy was she stayed in her car for screening.
“One of the PA’s came out and had all the gowns, the masks to test me and he even looked at my throat and said ‘oh you’re showing strep symptoms,’” she noted.
Davis says staff ran the flu and strep test on her. She says they only decided to run a COIVD-19 test after learning she recently traveled.
According to Davis, she was told the results would come back Thursday, instead, she got the call much earlier than expected.
“I was terrified,” she said. “The nurse told me that the symptoms might get worse as the week goes on.”
Davis says her breathing got so bad Monday night, she had to go to the Emergency Room.
“They came into the ER and had all the Hazmat suits on. I was in the quarantine room. They didn’t even really know how to handle it and told me I was the first case they’d seen,” Davis added.
After testing her oxygen levels, Davis says she was told she was safe to go home and didn’t need any additional medication.
Davis is now checking in with the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She says part of what they’re doing is trying to figure out where she caught the virus.
“It’s looking like I got it around town,” Davis said.
With that in mind, Davis is urging everyone to take social distancing seriously, knowing there’s a chance she picked up the virus from someone who didn’t know they were sick.
“If I wasn’t showing symptoms I’d be out, going to Walmart, but I’d still have COVID-19,” she said. “Take the quarantine seriously.”