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The Cost of coronavirus: News 5 wants to see your coronavirus-related medical bills

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Franklin Myles survived Coronavirus but now he faces the medical bills
Posted at 4:57 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 09:47:29-04

CLEVELAND — Survivors of COVID-19 faced the enemy and won the health battle. But now, they face the medical bills. 5 On Your Side Investigators are following survivors and what their financial costs will be.

The coronavirus just doesn’t care.

“Something came over me. I just couldn’t explain it,” said Franklin Myles, 54, from Twinsburg. COVID-19 didn’t think twice about hitting him while he was at work in mid-March. “By that evening, my entire body ached,” said Franklin.

Coronavirus had no problem giving him a fever for nine more days at home. It made his family call 911.

“When the emergency medical people came in their gear and their masks and all that stuff was kind of surprising,” recalled Franklin.

“That was really scary.” said his wife Tanya Myles. “You don’t know what’s going to happen and you can’t be (at the hospital with him).”

COVID-19 continued its attack at the hospital, forcing Myles to go on oxygen, on medications, and into uncertainty.

“They couldn’t give assurances because this was something no one really knew about,” said Franklin. “So, there were people who went in there as healthy or healthier than I did, and they kind of didn’t make it.”

Meanwhile, the virus took aim at his family at home. Tanya and their son had mild symptoms. Their daughter Mariah Myles, 18, had a fever, headache, and coughing.

“It was really scary, obviously,” said Mariah. “I wasn’t too worried about myself…more for (my dad).”

Coronavirus kept Franklin in the hospital with around-the-clock care.

“It wasn’t until the end of day five that they were actually able to take the oxygen off me,” said Franklin. “So, they tried a couple of times and my oxygen level would go down.”

By day six, Franklin got a partial victory over the virus. He was sent back home, but also back into a 14-day quarantine.

“I came in probably five to six times a day,” said Tanya about helping Franklin during that time. “I wore a mask and gloves,” she added.

Franklin feels much better these days, but the fear now is about finances.

“I have a six-day hospital stay so, I’m kind of scared to see what that bill is going to look like,” explained Franklin. “I know it’s coming.”

Franklin owns a business and has insurance, but it’s still a worry. “We were not expecting to have a six-day hospital stay which I’m assuming is going to be a huge cost,” said Tanya.

The government covered COVID-19 tests for Franklin. He hopes more assistance is on the way.

“It’s interesting to see if there’s going to be any kind of help related to taking care of some of the finances as it relates to the bills,” he said.

So, you see, the coronavirus doesn’t care…not about you, your health, or your costs. But we do care. We’re here to help.

We want to see your coronavirus hospital and/or treatment bills. This is all similar to our Diagnosis: Debt series of reports. Send us your bills and contact information at InvestigatorTips@WEWS.com. We will follow up on your concerns.

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Do you have an issue or story that you want the News 5 Investigates team to look into? Email InvestigatorTips@wews.com or fill out the form below.

Reopening Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio have established a plan to begin reopening Ohio businesses starting May 1. Below is a timeline of the businesses allowed to reopen.

May 1: Medical care – non-essential surgeries and procedures that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed beginning May 1.
May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses that were ordered to cease activities may reopen on May 4, as well as general office environments.
May 12: Retail establishments and facilities will be allowed to reopen on May 12.
May 15: Salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning facilities, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and piercing businesses. Restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons on outdoor patios. More details here.
May 21: Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. Read more here. Campgrounds will be allowed to reopen. Read more here.
May 22: Horse racing will be allowed to resume, with no spectators. Casinos and Racinos are not included in the reopening. Read more here.
May 26: Gyms, fitness centers, regulated pools, recreation centers and studios will be allowed to reopen, with new requirements. Non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues, such as golf, baseball and tennis will be allowed to resume. BMVs across Ohio will reopen, but government officials encourage citizens to utilize the BMVs online services when possible. Read more here.
May 31: Day care centers will be able to reopen in Ohio. Read more about the plan to reopen day cares here. Day camps and summer camps will also be allowed to operate. Details on that here.

While these announced reopenings encompass the majority of the businesses, agencies and events closed and canceled by the state's orders, the governor has not yet made an annoucements on when K-12 schools in the state will reopen, nor when places of public amusement, such as theme parks, gambling businesses, skating rinks, movie theaters, and others will be allowed to reopen. See a full list of indoor and outdoor places that remain closed here.

Click here for more details on the state's "Responsible RestartOhio" plan.