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Crown Point woman under quarantine awaiting COVID-19 test results
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Crown Point woman under quarantine awaiting COVID-19 test results

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Jennifer Wilson

Jennifer Wilson, 42, of Crown Point, is in self-quarantine after showing symptoms of COVID-19. She was tested for the coronavirus disease on Monday. 

CROWN POINT — A Crown Point woman said she is awaiting test results to verify if she has COVID-19. 

On Monday morning, Jennifer Wilson said she drove to Kouts to get tested for novel coronavirus after testing negative for the flu, RSV and strep throat. She said she began self-quarantine Thursday. 

"You go, you don't even get out of your car. They come to the parking lot. Everybody has a time slot," Wilson said during a phone call on Monday. 

Wilson said employees at the private practice took a photo of her insurance card while she held it up so they didn't have to touch it. She said she signed a questionnaire she filled out with a gloved hand so she didn't come in direct contact with the office's pen. 

Then she was tested. 

"They use the big, long cotton swab type things, and they go in through your nose, and it is violent," Wilson said, adding the swabs go up "as far as they can." 

The 10-minute process, from the time she pulled into the parking lot to when she left, is similar to getting tested for the flu. It's a bit longer, and they test both nostrils, Wilson said. 

Wilson said her results could come back anywhere from two to five business days from now. Her test has to be airmailed to California and processed by a lab there, she said.

"If my test results come back positive, my family will have to be quarantined for two weeks as well," Wilson said. "I have no idea about myself. How long? 'I don't know' is the best answer because I don't think anybody knows.

"It means that I can't go seek medical treatment for my current symptoms. It means I'll just have to stay home unless it gets too bad to where I can't stay home anymore."

Going into quarantine 

In late February, Wilson flew out of O'Hare International Airport to Tampa International Airport and returned in early March after visiting her mother.

From the day she returned, March 5, until Wednesday, everything was fine. During that time, she worked out at the Dean and Barbara White Southlake YMCA; went to her daughter's soccer game; shopped at Dick's Sporting Goods, Costco and Target; and taught karate. 

"I did all my normal things," she said. 

On Wednesday evening, however, Wilson began to experience the symptoms: a fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath, body aches, bad headaches and a scratchy throat. 

"It happened pretty quickly. It wasn't like, 'Oh, I think I don't feel good.' It was, 'Oh my gosh, I was fine this morning and this evening. I don't feel good,'" Wilson said. 

She said she messaged her doctor through Franciscan Health's MyChart, explaining her symptoms and recent travel history. 

"I just said I wasn't sure what I should be doing or if I should be taking any precautions, but I was seeking advice," Wilson said. 

Her Crown Point-based doctor gave her a call and said she needed to self-quarantine, adding he thought she should be tested for COVID-19, she said. However, his office didn't have the ability to test her, she said.

She was referred to two private labs, but limited testing prevented her from being tested locally, which is why she had to drive to Kouts. 

Before Wednesday, the 42-year-old, who goes to the gym five days a week and teaches and coaches karate, felt fine. 

"To go from being an extremely active person to having to catch my breath to climb my stairs or to walk to the bathroom is pretty humbling," Wilson said. "I can only imagine what this would be like for someone that already has, say, asthma or a heart condition that causes them to be winded easily."

Wilson encouraged people to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms. 

"Don't be selfish because if this is what I have, I can't imagine anyone having to deal with this that was already not feeling great," she said. 

Jill Schaffenberger, marketing director for Crossroads YMCA, said her agency doesn't have knowledge of anyone who has been to the YMCA that has COVID-19.

However, Crossroads YMCA is taking precautionary measures, in general, and is closing its Crown Point, Hammond, Griffith and Whiting locations at 8 p.m. Monday until March 31.

The decision will be reassessed at the end of the month.

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at mary.freda@nwi.com or 219-853-2563.

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