COTTONWOOD, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A woman who was showing no symptoms tested positive for COVID-19 at a free testing blitz site on May 16, prompting her to have to tell everyone she had been in contact with the previous two weeks to get tested.
"Those calls were the worst things that I've had to probably do almost so far in my life. Calling anyone, from a stranger to a business that I know the owners of, to calling my close family and friends, it's really bad news that you don't want to share," Sebrina Mertz Shaw said while tearing up. "I think the worst part for me isn't for me, but it's knowing what I've caused them. Having anxiety, having to worry, and having to worry about leaving your job or your livelihood because you saw me or you interacted with me, I came into your business, and I shipped a package."
Shaw said she was always diligent about wearing her mask and keeping her distance from people. The day she went to the testing blitz was the first day of Governor Ducey's executive order expired. She felt it was her responsibility to get a test, even if she felt fine.
"Even coming out of this, people still need to be careful, especially with the ones they love the most. We don't want to infect strangers who are at risk or the ones we love," Shaw said. "We've got to work together in order to get to where we all want, which is to not be on shutdown."
After getting her test done, she went out to a restaurant with some family members. The following day, a friend came to visit her at her home and the same with the next day. By that Tuesday, she was with another friend when she got the results.
"I'll be very, very, very honest about what happened; I literally dropped to my knees when I got the phone call. Mostly because my friend was right there with me and I knew I had to put her back in my car," Shaw said. "It felt like it was just kind of hitting me repeatedly in the gut emotionally. I broke down; I had a very emotional moment; I cried a lot. My friend wanted to hug me, and the worst part was having to tell her, 'no, don't touch me.'"
The Yavapai County Health Department told Shaw to trace back to all the places she'd been and the people she'd been in contact with 14 days before taking the test.
"There are 34 people that have all been either directly, unintentionally, exposed by me, or was a family member that had other family members in their household. So the trickle-down effect is real."
Shaw said only four of those people had gotten their results back so far, and they all came back negative.
Shaw also took a second test this last Saturday and is waiting for the results. She will be in quarantine until May 30.
Shaw says that once she tests negative twice, she will get an antibody test and plans to donate her plasma to help others in the fight against COVID-19.