Although he was exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the Dancing with the Stars champion said in an Instagram video on Saturday that he opted not to get tested due to the lack of tests available in the United States.
“I’ve been pretty sick over the last few days,” DiMarco, 30, explained. “But don’t worry, I am on the mend now. It is very likely that I had contracted coronavirus. I have had access to a test, but I chose against it because the United States, right now, is going through a vast shortage of tests. There are so many sick patients out there who need access more than I do.”
“Starting with this past Sunday and continuing for about 48 hours, I had a spiked fever, chills, a sore throat, a mild cough,” the model shared. “All these are symptoms of COVID-19 as we know it. Many people with COVID-19 have reported a lack in the ability to smell or taste, which was something I experienced as well. Knowing that I wasn’t high risk, I texted my doctor to communicate. I kept myself in self-quarantine and I kept an eye on my respiratory system in case any issues came up because I knew if it worsened, it could be fatal.”
DiMarco, who explained that he has now recovered and is self-isolating, told fans he would “really like to stress the importance of testing.”
“Of course, testing is critical and it’s been proven in some countries like South Korea to greatly help the efforts of combating coronavirus,” he wrote. “In a perfect world, I would take that test. However, the U.S. lacks enough test kits for everyone. If you are healthy and have no respiratory issues, I ask you to be mindful of sick patients and allow them to get tested if they need it more than you do.”
“And please, stay home,” DiMarco added. “We are trying to avoid spreading this and flattening the curve. We’re all in this together. Let’s do it.”
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images Nyle DiMarco
Despite the high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, many Americans have said they’ve even been turned away due to the lack of testing kits, which spurs from a manufacturing problem with the first batch of kits, made by the CDC.
Correcting that error delayed production, and the CDC has only recently started sending the new versions out to states.
As of March 22, there have been at least 29,666 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 377 deaths, according to the New York Times database.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLEis committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.