CMU student who tested positive for coronavirus: ‘Take this seriously’
Until Brianna Milton told her Facebook friends that she had tested positive for coronavirus, she felt that some of her peers were not taking the virus seriously.
Many people have reached out to her today to express their feelings after she shared her health update and the news that her father has been hospitalized. Milton's biggest concern, however, wasn’t her own physical health. She was concerned that she had spread the virus.
“People are saying they are taking it seriously, but they are not taking it seriously,” Milton said. “You could have an impact on others and you may not even know it.”
A Clinton Township senior, Milton received confirmation of a positive test this morning after getting tested at an urgent care in Mount Pleasant last week. She suffered from a nagging cough at the peak of her symptoms. Her father, Tim Milton, who also received confirmation about testing positive today, is still hospitalized.
The two of them had driven to Mount Pleasant from Clinton Township after spring break. Tim was feeling a bit under the weather at the time. Brianna developed a cough a few days later.
On March 26, Brianna received a phone call from her mother that said Tim’s symptoms were getting worse. He sought medical care from a respiratory clinic near Clinton Township.
The clinic called him back and told him to go to the emergency room.
Milton called McLaren Central Ready Care and alerted them that she is coming in to seek a coronavirus test. She had no problem getting a test from the clinic.
“The first thing I did was fill out some paperwork. Then, they gave me a mask,” Milton said. “They were in full protective gear that covered their arms and legs, latex gloves, a facemask and a face shield over top.
“They wrote their names on the top of the face shield, so that was kind of cool.”
Despite her father’s complications, Milton did not have a fever and doesn’t feel a shortness of breath – two of the most common symptoms of coronavirus. The coronavirus bothered her mental health, she said, more than it has her physical health.
“My anxiety has spiked a lot,” Milton said. “It’s been more of a mental game than a physical game. (Now) I’m in the house watching Netflix and cooking and everything is fine.”
Her father is still being treated at a local Clinton Township hospital. He is on oxygen and is having trouble breathing.
“He was so fatigued to the point that he couldn’t go to work or get out of bed,” Milton said.
Milton used to work at CMU, but now she is filing for unemployment after losing her hours. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home executive order made it so only essential staff must report to work.
Today, Milton has been deemed “no longer contagious” from the Central Michigan District Health Department. She was told her case was “mild.” Milton and her roommates are spending a lot of time disinfecting surfaces in their home, washing their hands and keeping an eye out for anyone communicating COVID-19 symptoms.
Once symptoms resolve, it is believed that there is a short period of time when you are still contagious, hence the 14-day self-isolation period that is being recommended. Milton was told that she was no longer contagious because she experienced receding symptoms for three straight days and did not develop a fever over that period.
CM Life reached out to the Central Michigan District Health Department for more information about how someone is deemed no longer contagious.
“By the standards of the department of health I am technically able to go out," Milton said, "but I am not going to risk it.