Fully vaccinated Hoboken woman tests positive for COVID-19; quarantined in Panama

A fully vaccinated Hoboken woman has tested positive for COVID-19 and finds herself in a mandated quarantine in Panama.

News 12 Staff

Jul 11, 2021, 9:15 PM

Updated 1,017 days ago

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A fully vaccinated Hoboken woman has tested positive for COVID-19 and finds herself in a mandated quarantine in Panama.
When Nicole Shutowich headed to Panama for a friend's 30th birthday on a private island, she never thought she'd be stuck there an additional 14 days. She has been fully vaccinated since March. Everyone in her group was also vaccinated.
Delta Airlines requires all its passengers returning to the U.S. be COVID-19 tested. Shutowich and her group of friends did so at the airport, but her rapid test returned positive.
"I was stuck there for five hours…not knowing much Spanish, I was trying to understand what was going on," Shutowich told News 12. "My phone also wasn't working. I wasn't provided another phone to contact my family. I spoke to three different doctors, each one told me something different.”
Shutowich believes her test results were a false positive because no one else in her group of 20 tested positive.
Dr. Sonia Chadha, a primary care physician, advised insisting on a PCR test in cases like this because rapid tests can have skewed results.
“If the PCR is negative, then we can retroactively say that she had a false positive on the rapid test,” she says.
Shutowich says she has since been moved to a local hospital for closer monitoring which was a concern of hers. As well, she says she has done a PCR test and is waiting for her results. 


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