ST. JOSEPH -- A St. Joseph woman is sharing her story of a birthday present to herself and how it turned into a lot of fear and anxiety over the coronavirus.

Emily Kern left for Egypt on February 20th to celebrate her 30th birthday.  At the time the coronavirus was just starting to impact us here in the United States, but Kern thought she's young and healthy and she shouldn't have any concerns.

Prior to leaving she went to her doctor and got a full check-up just to make sure there were no concerns healthwise for her to travel.

She booked her vacation through a tour group and there were 30 people total in her group from all over the U.S.  She says she was by far the youngest in the group and most of the other people were retired.

Kern and the rest of the group returned back in the U.S. on March 6th.  Shortly after that, she got word from the tour company that someone in her group had tested positive for COVID-19.  Through a group chat, they learned there were actually six positive tests among them.

Kern immediately called her doctor and set-up an appointment for a test.  She says the healthcare workers were waiting for her with full masks and protective gear.  Her test came back negative and she has not had the virus yet, but she did have to go into a 14 day quarantine.  She says she continues to stay in quarantine now out of an abundance of caution.

To date half of the people she was traveling with, 15 of the 30, have tested positive for COVID-19.  She says the number could be higher because not all of the people have been able to get tested.

Two people from the group have now died in the past week.

Anybody that's traveled to Egypt knows that you're not allowed to travel as a tourist in the country unless you have an armed guard, so we literally spent 24/7 together for over two weeks breakfast, lunch and dinner.

She says she believes the other 13 people who tested positive are currently recovering at home.

Kern says she thinks about not only herself but what if she had brought something home that endangered her parents, that's what's scary about this virus.  She says she will continue to get tested just to be safe.

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