Woman Who Visited China Self-Quarantined When She Returned To Utah

Feb 16, 2020, 6:07 PM | Updated: Feb 17, 2020, 10:23 am

LEHI, Utah – A Utah woman revealed she self-quarantined after visiting China just as the COVID-19 outbreak began.

It was supposed to be a flight home to visit family, but instead it turned into a health hazard for Kammy Gu, who was in China just as the coronavirus broke out.

Gu is from Hong Kong – a 15-hour flight from Wuhan, which was ground zero for the outbreak. With Chinese New Year, its reach quickly spread across the country.

“I actually had so many things planned because it was a three-week vacation,” said Gu.

She was in China to celebrate Chinese New Year, considered the busiest travel time of year for its 1.3 billion citizens.

“It’s like Christmas. Everyone has dinner together,” said Gu. “But now the majority of restaurants are closed.”

Gu flew to china Jan. 19 and returned Jan. 26.

She said she arrived in China just as news spread of the new strand of coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19.

“I wasn’t aware of how serious the situation was until the second day,” she said. “So when I went out with my friend, she actually reminded me, ‘Oh you have to get a mask,’” Gu said.

Within days, and with the rising count of infected patients, face masks sold out across the country.

“It was like $10 for 10 masks, but now it’s $40 for 10,” she said. “A lot of them are sold out.”

Her father works in Macau, which is akin to Las Vegas in the United States. Gu shared some of the photos she took, showing a city that’s become a ghost town with empty subways, closed store fronts and desolate streets.

Macau, China (Photo courtesy of Kammy Gu) Macau, China (Photo courtesy of Kammy Gu)

“The Macau government thought, ‘Oh, maybe we shouldn’t allow people to come over anymore’ because they have really limited healthcare resources,” she said. “So hen they stop the casino from running.”

Gu said she thinks the outbreak’s epicenter in the industrial city of Wuhan combined with holiday travel created the perfect storm.

On Sunday CNN reported the death toll in China’s Hubei province was 1,696. Total number of confirmed cases in the province are 58,182. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province.

“There are so many sick people at this time, but they don’t have enough resources,” Gu said. “I think that is the biggest struggle. They try to halt as much as they can, but if you don’t have enough doctors, what can you do?”

She shortened her trip coming back to the U.S. days before travel restrictions went into effect. She then went into a self-imposed quarantine and worked from home. Then the U.S. issued 14-day movement restrictions for those who have been to China.

Luckily, Gu hasn’t shown any symptoms of the virus.

“Monday was my 15th day to be in the state, and I was healthy enough,” she said.

The Utah Department of Health said 11 people have been tested for the virus, but so far all have come back negative.

Tips to staying healthy

Whether it’s staying safe from COVID-19 or preventing the spread of the flu, there are a few tips everyone should be following – especially during the flu season.

  • Avoid traveling
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing and sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Additional resources

Utah Health Department Coronavirus Information

CDC Travel Guidelines

CDC: Traveling From China



KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...

US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest variants

U.S. clears updated COVID-19 boosters targeting the newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Woman Who Visited China Self-Quarantined When She Returned To Utah