San Gabriel widow waited weeks to find out if husband had coronavirus — after he was refused testing twice

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Vidal Herrera is pictured inside the lab of his company, 1-800-Autopsy, in April 2020. The business has been flooded with requests for private autopsies from people around the country who want to know whether a loved one died of COVID-19. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Vidal Herrera is pictured inside the lab of his company, 1-800-Autopsy, in April 2020. The business has been flooded with requests for private autopsies from people around the country who want to know whether a loved one died of COVID-19. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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For Julie Murillo, the fight to get her husband tested for COVID-19 lasted twice as long as his battle with the illness itself.

Julio Ramirez fell sick March 8 after returning from a trip to Indiana for his job as a sales representative for a jewelry company. Fearing he’d been exposed to the coronavirus, the 43-year-old sought care, but doctors refused to test him on two separate occasions, instead giving him medication and telling him to rest at his San Gabriel home.

He died there March 16.

Nearly three weeks later, after a campaign by Murillo that included calling government agencies and hiring a private autopsy firm, a team from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health visited the funeral home where Ramirez’s body was being kept. Test results confirmed what Murillo had suspected: Her husband had contracted the coronavirus.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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