After coming down with flu-like symptoms over “the past two days,” Charnas, 31, first tried to treat herself at home based on her doctor’s recommendation. Initially, her doctor told her to proceed as if she “had the flu and to just quarantine” herself, Charnas shared in a long series of videos on her Instagram Story. While she said she “could go to the hospital and get tested” for both influenza and coronavirus, Charnas thought “exposing myself to a million other viruses, especially if I don’t have coronavirus, is just not worth it to me.”
She added, “So unless I am dying or can’t breathe, I am just going to stay home and take care of myself.”
However, about an hour later Charnas and her husband Brandon decided to go to one of the Cure Urgent Care facilities in Manhattan to get swabbed from inside of her car to find out if she had either the flu or coronavirus.
“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,” Charnas said as she wore a medical face mask.
According to a representative from Cure Urgent Care, the facilities are not offering drive-by flu or COVID-19 tests to the public at this time. Anyone with symptoms can visit either location on the Upper West Side or Upper East Side to get an evaluation from a doctor and flu test first, the rep from Cure Urgent Care tells PEOPLE. If the medical professional deems the symptoms to be more serious, then a COVID-19 swab will be taken.
PEOPLE has reached out to Charnas’ rep for comment.
Once she got swabbed for both viruses, Charnas waited 15 minutes in the car to receive her flu test results. They came back negative. “Now I’m freaking out because my flu test came back negative. Freaking out,” she said.
“Don’t freak out. Calm down,” her husband Brandon Charnas can be overheard saying in the background.
Charnas has yet to post anything on her Instagram Story since then. According to CNN, when a sample arrives to a state lab, it can take as little as 24 hours for coronavirus test results to become available.
Many Americans who think they are getting sick have been getting turned away from doctors largely due to a lack of testing kits. Though President Donald Trump has said that any American who “needs a test gets a test,” that has not yet been the case. The CDC told lawmakers that they have tested around 3,800 people, and outside laboratories have tested an additional 7,800 — 11,600 is just a tiny fraction of the U.S. population.
The lack of available testing kits 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.
However during a press briefing on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence, 60, said more than 2,000 labs are expecting to come online “in days ahead” with “high-speed testing” made available in all 50 states “during this challenging time in our nation,” later adding, “All coronavirus testing is free and it’s free for every American including uninsured Americans.”
“It’s important as we expand testing resources … that the tests are available for the people most in need. A priority will be placed on healthcare workers and first responders who are out there that are coming alongside people that are being impacted by coronavirus,” he said. “Americans 65 and over with a cough and a fever and other symptoms will be prioritized.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is 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.