Woman with suspected coronavirus symptoms dies while waiting for test results, boyfriend claims

A woman in New Orleans, La., died while she was waiting for the results from a coronavirus test after she experienced symptoms of the novel virus, or COVID-19, her boyfriend claims.

Natasha Ott, 39, died on Saturday. Her boyfriend, Josh Anderson, 40, said in a viral Facebook post that he found her body in the kitchen of her apartment after going to check on her.

“Seeing a woman I knew to be so full of life lying on the floor lifeless was devastating. I was afraid to touch her. I held her anyway,” he wrote.

Anderson claims that Ott first complained of feeling unwell earlier this month, on March 10. At the time, the woman told him she was experiencing cold-like symptoms and a “tiny fever.”

Natasha Ott. (Facebook)
Natasha Ott. (Facebook)

Ott, a social worker, told Anderson that the medical clinic where she worked, Crescent Care, had some coronavirus tests available, but she declined to take one because she was considered low-risk and wanted to leave as many tests available for those in desperate need. But Ott’s condition continued to deteriorate. She tested negative for the flu and eventually received a coronavirus test about a week after falling ill, on March 16. She was reportedly told she would receive the results in about five days.

Anderson claimed in his Facebook post that he went to Ott’s apartment to walk her dog, Zola, on Thursday. At the time, she told him she was “feeling a bit better” and “had more energy than she’d had in days, and she ended up walking Zola with me.”

“She did complain that she felt like ‘something’ was in her lungs. She also mentioned that her coronavirus test results were delayed, and likely wouldn’t come back until Monday,” he wrote.

The two sent a few text messages the next morning, on Friday, but Anderson said Ott stopped responding to him around 8:30 a.m. that day.

“At 6:54 p.m. I texted, with no-reply. I called twice, with no reply. I wrote: ‘I’m getting nervous. Just called twice. Text or call me soon. If I don’t hear from you within the hour I’m coming over there to check on you,’” he recalled.  “I got to her house around 8. No one answered the door. I walked to the back of the house and noticed the rear door that opened into her fenced yard was open (she left it open sometimes so Zola could go in and out).”

“I went in the back, and found her dead in her kitchen,” he claimed.

Ott’s coronavirus test results are reportedly still pending.

Speaking to Nola.com, Noel Twilbeck, the CEO of Crescent Care, confirmed that Ott worked at the company and also confirmed that she had died. He declined to speak further out of “respect for her family,” he told the outlet. 

At this time, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office has not released a cause of death, and state health officials have not yet said if it was a coronavirus case, Nola.com reported.

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