Arkansas woman taking financial hit from isolation in hotel due to COVID-19

When Shawn Burks tested positive for COVID-19, she had no choice but to isolate away from her ‘high risk’ husband. Now, money is stretched thin.

GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. — A central Arkansas woman is isolated in a Saline County hotel room.

Shawn Burks had no other place to go once she tested positive for COVID-19.

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Burks is now learning that one week into isolation, the financial impact is enormous.

“I have a COVID file literally of receipts that I have spent out-of-pocket,” said Burks.

She said a hotel was her only option for isolation since her husband is considered “high risk” for COVID-19.

“My husband is working 16 hours a day and driving from Garland County to Saline County just to drop things off at my door. He’s covered in PPE gear just to come pick up my dirty laundry,” said Burks.

The cost of food is becoming too much, more than what she can budget for.

“Uber is adding up, Grub Hub, Door Dash,” said Burks.

Luckily, Burks’ husband’s company has recently agreed to pay for her hotel stay, but with that relief, money is still stretched thin.

Her experience has made her realize… Arkansans need more help.

“What I’m finding is there is not a lot of community resources in Pulaski and Saline Counties,” said Burks. I’ve had trouble getting in contact.”

Burks is hopeful local organizations, churches, and community members can step up and provide services to those who are struggling through isolation.

“I have a thermometer, a blood pressure cuff, a pulse ox, but what about the people who don’t?” asked Burks. “What about the ones who can’t get Door Dash or call Kroger?”

Not only has Burks’ fight impacted her, but also some of her family who are now quarantined and out of work.

“My daughter-in-law, she’s a single mother with my grandson and here she is 10 days at home, and he can’t go to school,” said Burks. “It’s just a mess.”

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Burks hopes that everyone will be smart and make the right choices to keep people safe this holiday season.

“I would rather do this, than plan a funeral,” said Burks.