Returning Missionary Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Infects Family

Apr 6, 2020, 10:46 PM | Updated: 10:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who was among thousands sent home early because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has since tested positive for the virus and likely infected four of his family members.

It’s been hardly the homecoming Elder Caden Johanson expected since he returned home more than a week ago.

“I really wasn’t expecting it because I felt fine,” Johanson said.

He was picked up in a Salt Lake City International Airport parking garage by his parents, who were following new guidelines that were implemented after a large number of families disregarded social distancing while picking up their missionaries.

Not long after beginning his isolation at home, Johanson said his dad decided to check everyone’s temperature just to be safe.

“They got to me it said 103 or 104 and everyone’s like, ‘whoa what’s going on?'” he said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t feel sick.’”

But within 48 hours, Caden had tested positive for the coronavirus and his diagnosis was only the beginning. His brother also tested positive. When his parents and another sibling began showing symptoms — including fever, cough and shortness of breath — they were told not to be tested but to just assume they have it and to isolate themselves from the other family members who had no symptoms.

“I don’t think it was something I got when I was traveling or while I was here. I think it was something I may have gotten in Mexico without knowing,” Johanson said. “It’s been really good to be with family and to see all of them but at the same time it’s been really weird.”

Especially compared to the last 17 months he spent serving and preaching the gospel to the people in the Mexico Cancun Mission. Like thousands of other missionaries around the world, his time abroad was abruptly cut short when the Church decided to send “a substantial number” back to their native countries.

“It’s tough leaving the mission where you’ve been called to, where you’ve been serving,” he said. “It’s been a really drastic change.”

“We just have to be really really careful because we got multiple people under the same roof,” said Craig Johanson, Caden’s father. He said he and the others who are sick stay out of the kitchen and common areas to avoid coming into contact with the couple of family members who have, so far, been spared from any symptoms of the virus.

“We mostly stick to our rooms and they roam a little more freely than the rest of us,” he said.

For now, the Johanson family is just trying to make the most of their quarantined time together, as Caden waits for the day when he can leave home again and return to the mission field with a new assignment.

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at

KSL 5 TV Live


Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

6 days ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

1 month ago

Skiers and snowboarders at the Beaver Mountain Resort...

Mike Anderson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Ski resorts prepare for influx of snow and people

Many Utah ski resorts are finally getting the snow they waited all December for, just in time for another big storm.

1 month ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Emma Benson

‘The ICUs are full:’ Keep yourself and others healthy this holiday

It's time for holiday gatherings, but with more people around us comes a greater risk of getting sick.

2 months ago

Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

3 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Returning Missionary Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Infects Family