TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Tempe man says he feels like he’s trapped in COVID-19 limbo. He continues to test positive for COVID-19 even weeks after he caught the virus.
Tyler Shipley, 25, a firefighter hopeful, was in the middle of training with the Tempe Fire Department when he was forced to put his life on hold after testing positive for COVID-19. “It kind of hits you pretty hard, you’re, oh crap, I can’t do anything, I can’t go out in public," said Shipley.
But even scarier, he said, he has a preexisting medical condition called myocarditis. “A heart condition where your heart muscle swells up," he said. "When I was 18 I had kind of a mild heart attack."
Tyler says his heart condition also doesn't make him a good candidate for the COVID-19 vaccine. But now it’s been weeks since his first positive test result, and he keeps testing positive. “And I got another positive result yesterday,” said Shipley.
He's in need of a negative result in order to pick-up where he left off.
According to Dr. Ross Goldberg with Valleywise Health, people can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after the first diagnosis. “That's not uncommon. It doesn't mean they're infectious, just means there's some virus leftover,” said Shipley.
"It feels like limbo: I wake up, I eat, and I am like, I feel okay. I want to go back to work and the gym again,” said Shipley.
Dr. Goldberg said we know enough about the virus now to safely say a person stops being contagious after two weeks. If you’re like Shipley and continue to test positive after 2 weeks and need a negative test in order to go back to work, Dr. Goldberg said a doctor should be able to write you a note.