CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte woman is hoping a recent test comes back negative for COVID-19 after battling the virus for nearly a month. She's now warning everyone in her age group and others to take the virus seriously.
Taylor Baldassarri, 26, is one of 14,814 Mecklenburg County residents who have tested positive for the Coronavirus so far.
"I think I was just naive and didn't think I would get it," said Baldassarri.
She said she can't say for sure where she caught the virus, but she was out at bars and breweries when they reopened, as were many people, and said she must have gotten it from somewhere.
"The body pain I experienced and the shooting pains in my ribs and my back, it was honestly terrible," she said.
Her positive test came back on June 16, and she still has the virus. Although she's young, COVID-19 hit her hard.
"My stomach hurt, I was throwing up, I had a pretty high fever," she said.
At first, she took all the precautions, from wearing face masks to social distancing, and not going out.
"And then I think everyone got to the point where we were kind of getting over it," she admitted.
Mecklenburg County health officials said that's been a problem and could explain why the virus continues to spread at startling rates.
On Monday, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention Director, Dr. Robert Redfield sent out a plea to the county.
"If all of us would put on a face mask for the next 4-6 weeks, I think we would drive this pandemic to the ground," Redfield said.
He met with county health officials on Monday to hear about tactics taken at the local level in the COVID-19 response. Redfield also said he supports bars being closed.
Baldassarri is also pleading with everyone to heed the warnings.
"I would say be more aware, and listen to the news and the CDC," she said. "You know, it's not a joke. I kind of thought, I'm young and I'm healthy but I got it and I suffered for three weeks."
Taylor was tested for COVID-19 again on Monday and is waiting on her results.
County Manager Dena Diorio said county officials are taking a look at a policy that would limit alcohol sales in restaurants after a certain time. Some restaurants have basically turned into bars late at night.
Similar orders have already been made in Orange County and South Carolina.