ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – After 45 days away from St. George in a strict quarantine in Japan, Jerri Jorgensen is back home.
Jerri was the second Utahn aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship testing positive for COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
The CDC sent her a letter clearing her for all travel, stating that she is no longer a threat to the public, but Jerri said that hasn’t stopped members of the community from threatening to harm her and her husband Mark, who is being treated for the coronavirus at Intermoutain Medical Center in Murray, if she doesn’t stay away.
In a statement to ABC4 News, Jerri said, “I will be well taken care of. It’s sad that there is so much ignorance in my wonderful community, to the point where people don’t even want us here. But we’ll weather through this as well and be fine.”
Once she received two consecutive negative test results at a Japanese hospital, officials from the Diamond Princess arranged for a charter flight to bring her back home. Jerri said she arrived late Wednesday evening.
“I have followed all protocol, and I am not infected and won’t be infected again,” Jerri said in a Facebook live video. “I’m probably going to be the safest person in St. George to be around.”
Jerri said she’s now laying low and won’t be going out into public places for a few weeks. She’ll only spend time outside to ride her mountain bike — while her friends bring food to her home.
“One of my friends said, ‘You’re caving, you’re caving to the fear!'” Jerri said. “I’m not. I’m making a deliberate choice because I love St. George.”
Jerri said she’s trying to alleviate some of the fear and be a good citizen, coming from a place of love.
Her husband Mark, who remains at Intermountain Medical Center where his most recent test results came back positive, said the threats have been emotional. He indicated in a Facebook live video that they have contacted authorities, but they’re trying to stay compassionate.
“There’s really two emotions: love and fear,” Mark said. “Someone that’s angry and lashing out, they’re really just scared, and I think we as human beings can learn to be more compassionate to people if we can recognize that.”
Mark and Jerri have been separated for weeks.