Montgomery woman speaking out after store denies service due to false-positive COVID-19 result

MONTGOMERY, WV (WOAY) – Kimberly Christian, from Montgomery, is speaking out after she was tested for COVID-19 in Kanawha County. Her rapid test came back positive and then a week later, her nasal swab came back negative, thus making her negative for COVID-19, as the swab is reportedly more accurate.

Despite her best efforts, she tells us that she can’t quite convince her community she’s negative.

Recently, the local Go Mart’s store manager would not let her in the store until she proved she was negative which she was not able to do as she did have that paperwork. 

She tried to explain that after a week of quarantine and being Fayette County’s first presumed positive case, Christian got word that she was actually negative once the swab results came back in. 

“I was relieved, upset, relieved, upset. It was a long week to think you have something that could be deadly. I didn’t know that the rapid test wasn’t accurate. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have been in such a panic, but I was relieved,” she said. 

Christian says she never showed symptoms but had to be tested because she was in contact with someone who had tested positive in Kanawha County.

To get ahead of the rumors, when she thought she was positive, she decided to to take it to social media making a post about it that was later deleted, but not before it created community concern.

That is how many in the community, including the Go Mart store manager, knew about her case and confronted her about it as she waited to go into the store. She says this took place after the negative result came back and her quarantine period was over. 

“I was upset. I was very upset. I didn’t understand how she could possibly even ask me for that information let alone just kind of say it in front of everybody that was standing outside the store waiting to go in the store,” Christian said. 

Now, she is questioning the legality of being denied service.

However, in these unprecedented times, the laws have not caught up to the current situation, so she would not be considered a protected class.

Right now, it is only illegal for stores and other public accommodations to deny service on the grounds of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness or disability. 

So for Christian, as she heads back to work, she now worries about when she will be able to head back into a store she says she’s been going to for 30 years. 

“You can’t just assume things without facts,” Christian said. “Don’t attack each other. It’s ridiculous. I mean, everybody’s scared but some of us care enough about our community that if we were sick, we wouldn’t be out here to begin with, so I really feel attacked.” 

We reached out to Go Mart’s corporate office and are still awaiting a response.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.