Exclusive: Westport doctor tells News 8 what it’s like to have coronavirus


WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 spoke exclusively with a doctor who has tested positive for COVID-19.

She said social distancing is absolutely key to containing the spread—and has a warning for others.

“We don’t know who is going to get a serious course and who is going to get a mild course, but it can affect younger, healthier individuals,” said Dr. Rhonda Klein.

Dr. Klein tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday after she was exposed to someone who had the virus. Since then, she’s been self-isolating and keeping her family at home.

Dr. Klein said she only showed mild symptoms but was confirmed to have been exposed through community transmission. That, and due to her work as a healthcare provider, Dr. Klein got tested. Still, she said because of the shortage of tests, it wasn’t easy.

“They actually did not want to test me because I did not have any classic symptoms,” said Dr. Klein. 

She had no fever or cough. Her only symptom was mild congestion.

“It is scary but it is the healthcare providers who are thought to be the asymptotic carriers of this disease. We see a lot of patients each day. I had multiple patients who had positive exposures and also multiple patients who had come back from travel to China, Tokyo, [and] Europe in the days preceding my notification of the exposure.”

Her contacts were all traced and notified. She and her family went through drive-through testing. They’re all doing okay. Dr. Klein said social distancing is absolutely worth it.

As soon as she’s clear, she plans to be on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic, doing what she can to help her community deal with any possible surge in critically ill.

One last message—Dr. Klein said—be kind. Don’t stigmatize this illness, because that is not the way to get through this.

“This is everywhere. You are going to get exposed to this. The more you can stay away from people the better.”

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