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Actress Sharon Stone cticizes COVID-19 testing in Montana

Posted at 5:08 PM, Aug 17, 2020

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Actress Sharon Stone is criticizing the availability of COVID-19 testing in Montana, where her sister and brother-in-law are hospitalized with the respiratory virus.

Stone posted a video on Instagram Sunday expressing frustration that there aren't enough tests for front-line workers and people who have had direct contact with someone who has COVID-19, "like my mother, who's had two heart attacks, five stents and a pacemaker in the past five months." Stone said. Her mother wasn't tested because she wasn't symptomatic, despite her underlying health conditions, Stone said.

Stone's sister, Kelly Stone, also has lupus, "and is not doing well," the actress said.

"The stress, the strain, the exhaustion that's happening in that hospital is met with the conflict around the courthouse where people are carrying guns and saying that it's their freedom not to have to wear a mask," Stone said.

The governor's office had not been returning her calls and state health officials had been hanging up on her, Stone complained.

Stone called the governor's office last week and offered ideas to increase testing, but did not indicate a family member was hospitalized at the time, the governor's office said Monday. A representative from the Montana Citizens' Advocate office spoke with Stone on Monday morning, Gov. Steve Bullock said.

"We've been working with our healthcare providers to make sure that they have the resources they need for testing," and getting test results more quickly, Bullock said.

The state health department did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Kelly Stone has been posting videos on Instagram from her hospital bed, where she is on oxygen. Sharon Stone has not said where her sister is hospitalized.