Nicole Saccone

Nicole Saccone, 26, plays with her son. Saccone was tested for COVID-19 Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at WellSpan Health's Lake Street testing site. 

Editor's note: Nicole Saccone tested negative for COVID-19. She received her results March 25 — over a week after she was tested at WellSpan Health's Lake Street drive-through testing site. 

When Nicole Saccone’s throat began to feel swollen on Saturday, she brushed it off.

When the 26-year-old’s sore throat developed into a deep cough and she became feverish, she realized her symptoms matched those of the new coronavirus.

Saccone, a mother of three, kept telling herself, “If it gets worse, I’ll call,” she said. She had just been in the hospital after getting her gallbladder removed — maybe she picked up the flu while in the hospital, she thought.  

Still, her symptoms continued to worsen.

She felt like she shouldn’t get tested for COVID-19 — she is young and doesn’t have a compromised immune system — she said. She didn't know how to even get tested for COVID-19, and doesn't have a primary care provider. 

It wasn’t until after another mom in a Facebook group posted WellSpan Health’s coronavirus information hotline that Saccone decided to call and see if she could even get tested, she said.

Before she knew it, Saccone had been screened for COVID-19 through the hotline and was told she had the telltale symptoms. She was told to make a trip to WellSpan Health’s Lake Street drive-through site for a test.

When Saccone arrived at the testing site Wednesday morning, she was one of four cars, she said. Through her car window, a doctor swabbed the back of her nose to get a sample, she said. 

Four to seven days after the test, Saccone will receive her results, but until then, she and her three children will stay quarantined in their home in Leola. 

"Now it's just a waiting game," she said. 

If she has contracted COVID-19, Saccone isn't sure when or where she was exposed. Saccone thinks she may have been exposed to the virus by a family member who works in an emergency room in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County had 47 cases of COVID-19, the most of any county in Pennsylvania, as of Thursday.

And while Saccone and her kids are quarantined, her fiance — the house's sole provider — has just returned to work. He spent several weeks of taking care of Saccone after her gallbladder surgery. 

He works at a food delivery business, which Saccone chose not to name. When he arrived back to work, he told his boss about Saccone's symptoms and was told to spend his shift in the office instead of making deliveries. 

"Shouldn't he come home" if he's been exposed to Saccone? she asked. 

Saccone said she's nervous about her test results. 

"I'm hopeful that I don't have it," she said. "I hope I'm wrong for once."

But despite her fears, she's glad she got tested. In a matter of days, she'll know the source of her symptoms, and whether or not she and her family have to continue to quarantine. 

"We have to look out for ourselves to be able to look out for others," she said.