Something Navy’s Arielle Charnas “tested positive for COVID-19” after documenting the testing process to her 1.3 Instagram followers via her Instagram Story. But some people aren’t happy about the way the influencer acquired the sought-after test.
The NYC-based fashion designer shared the news about her diagnosis via an Instagram post on Wednesday, March 18, featuring four pages of text from her notepad app.
Charnas explained in her note to followers that her symptoms “started out with a very dry throat at night for a few days.” That progressed into a sore throat, fever, sinus pressure, zero appetite and “horrible body aches.”
A day prior the influencer took to her Instagram Story to share the process of getting tested, after being advised by her doctor to stay home and treat her symptoms like the flu. She, like many other Americans, didn’t qualify for a test, as they’re generally reserved for high-risk patients.
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Instead, she opted to go to a drive-up clinic on the Upper West Side. While wearing a mask on her Instagram Story, Charnas said, “Our friend owns an urgent care and he told me that they would swab me from my car near his office for both the flu and COVID-19 so Brandon is driving me there right now.”
Critics flocked to social media when they learned how Charnas obtained the test.
A frustrated Twitter user wrote, “I’m sorry, but this should NOT be happening!! If you don’t qualify for testing, using your influence to get tested should not prevent others who NEED to get tested!”
Another wrote, “THE LATEST COOL NEW PERK FOR INFLUENCERS — getting tested quickly for coronavirus, while everyone else waits.”
Charnas attempted to address the critics in her Instagram post. “I realize that there are many individuals, both in New York City, and nationwide, who do not have the ability to receive immediate medical care at the first sign of sickness, and access to care is #1 priority in a time like this.”
She continued, “It is the responsibility of our government offices to ensure all Americans can access necessary tests and I acknowledge how lucky I am to have had that access. I hope this ignites faster movement in the future.”
Charnas is currently quarantined with her family and says her daughters “aren’t showing any symptoms” just yet.” Her husband, Brandon, however, is also unwell.
“I know many that many of you are scared and anxious, but please stay calm —” she concluded “— follow the directive of the medical and government communities and please be kind to each other.”
Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDC, WHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.
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