Walking Dead Actor Says Hospital Charged Him $9K for Coronavirus Test but Didn't Give Him the Results
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Newman — who played Daniel, a soldier from the Kingdom, in 10 episodes of the AMC zombie series — told his followers that he was charged $9,116 for a coronavirus test even though he claims the hospital “didn’t even give me results.”
“Thanks for all the concern! I guess a lot of #WalkingDead fans saw me in the emergency room regarding #CoronaVirus. Sorry I didn’t reply I needed time to process,” he began his post.
“So here’s what happened. Yes I was just in Australia with Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, and thousands of people from around the world for Mardi Gras Pride. I was exposed to some sick people and I started developing symptoms and then back in the states I was notified someone in our group tested positive for #Covid19.”
The actor said he called around to several different urgent care centers and hospitals for a coronavirus test before one emergency room “told me my symptoms match and to come in immediately.”
“I did all the tests and they told me because I have ‘mild symptoms’ the government won’t allow them to process my tests!” he shared. “They don’t have enough they’re not prepared, even though all my symptoms match. They’re only allowed to process ‘severe symptoms, elderly, or people recently in Italy and China’. It cost me $9,116!! and they didn’t even give me results.”
According to Newman, he was sent home along with “tons of other ill people that could potentially infect their communities, just telling us to ‘self Quarantine.'”
“Why after almost 3 months since China is our country not prepared with tests, masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper! Why after one day of shaky stock markets did they invest 1.5 trillion into the markets, but not the Healthcare system after three months!” he questioned. “This was not a surprise, this was not being prepared. We’ve already gone through #H1N1 #SARS why didn’t we have a pandemic unit ready when this happens every few years!?”
Newman ended his post by encouraging fans to take precaution and practice protocols recommended by health officials to slow the spread of the disease and avoid putting a strain on the current health care system.
“Young people are not immune, thousands of people are dying around the world,” he wrote. “Please be safe, wash your hands, stay 6 feet or more away from people and stay home.”
RELATED VIDEO: Health Officials Call to Action as Coronavirus Continues to Spread
The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-19, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.
As of Monday, there have been at least 33,018 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 428 deaths.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes ,PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.