Mixed COVID-19 test results keeps New Caney grandfather out from work

Jessica Willey Image
Monday, August 31, 2020
Mixed COVID-19 test results keeps New Caney man Freddy Heinen out from work
A New Caney grandfather explains his experience with getting mixed COVID-19 results.

NEW CANEY, Texas (KTRK) -- A New Caney grandfather is frustrated by the number of COVID-19 tests he's had to take and the difference in results.

"Who's right and who's wrong here?," asked Freddy Heinen. "Six, seven, eight, nine positive and two negative," he told ABC13.

Heinen has been off work since June 26.

He said when a coworker tested positive, his employer paid for all employees to get tested.

His result was positive. Since then, he's had a mix of results. The problem is his employer requires two negative results before returning to work.

"Do I just keep going back? Keep going back? Keep going back? Who's in charge here?," Heinen asked.

Dr. Pedro Piedra, a professor of molecular virology and microbiology and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, discourages people from shopping around for tests.

"That adds another variable to something that is already complicated enough," Piedra said. "For better consistency, if you start testing with a particular lab, continue testing with that lab because they're going to use the same equipment and test every time."

He also said each person sheds the virus differently, which explains why some people test positive for a longer period time and others don't.

"That's the host, the individual. There's variability between individuals," Piedra explained.

Heinen's most recent test was negative. He hopes to go back to work after Labor Day.