A local couple is trying to figure out how to self-quarantine when one of them has the coronavirus and the other does not.
Clay spoke to 11Alive from his bedroom upstairs, while his wife Suzy Bentley spoke from their living room downstairs about how the couple is making their quarantine work.
Suzy said she was so excited to hear her husband sing at the church two weeks ago. The church's longtime choir director was retiring and people came from all over for one last performance together.
The following day, Clay felt so bad that he went to an Urgent Care center. There, they told him that he tested negative for the flu and sent him home.
"Then over the next few days it just got worse and worse and worse. And I called the hospital Friday and said, I feel like y'all sent me home to die," said Clay.
He was readmitted to the hospital a few days later. When Clay was finally tested for coronavirus, the result was positive.
He was hospitalized for 12 days.
"This past Wednesday night, I thought it was over for me," he said. "It got to the point where I couldn't breathe anymore."
But he kept improving. Finally, on Tuesday, Clay got the all-clear to go home and self-quarantine.
"I got up at 3:30 a.m., the day he was coming home," Suzy said.
She is sleeping in the guest bedroom and has set up the master bedroom for Clay.
They're getting creative with keeping their family traditions -- like drinking coffee together in the morning.
"I went in my little bedroom and he went in his bedroom and we talked on the phone with our cup of coffee," she said.
Suzy has not been tested for COVID-19, but she is reporting her temperature to the health department twice a day. She is also wearing a mask and gloves around the house.
"I feel corona free, and I have been with the enemy," she said. "We were in cars together, and we were sharing a bedroom and a bathroom."
She says they're trying to appreciate the downtime they have together while Clay recovers.
"You cannot respond and live in fear, it will eat you alive," Suzy said.
Clay got sick at the same church service as Kyle and April Abernathy did.
Kyle was sent home from the hospital on Monday, but April remains in intensive care.
Her doctors say she is improving.
"It took people talking through the grapevine to realize I was not the only one who had it," Clay said. "There's members who have been in critical condition -- and I still haven't talked to all of them. I don't know how everyone is doing. I've been in isolation, so I don't know, but I am praying for them."
He said he is getting through by his faith and wants people to come together and fight the virus.
"We have to stand up, we have to put on our armor and fight for what's rightfully ours," he said. "We have to fight for our families, we have to fight for our jobs, we have to fight for everything we worked so hard for."
There are currently 19 cases of COVID-19 reported in Bartow County, but those are not real-time numbers.
11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.
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