NJ woman working in Wuhan returning to the U.S. after coronavirus outbreak

Officials say the first person outside of China has died from the coronavirus,a 44-year-old man in the Philippines.

While health officials across the world work to contain the virus, here, in the Delaware Valley, family members are concerned about their loved ones overseas, in places like China.

“I’m not worried at all about having it. I just know that I don’t,” stated Allie Cook.

Allie Cook, local woman in China.

25-year-old Haddon Heights resident Allie Cook spoke via Facetime just hours before starting her journey back to the United States from China.

“Because it’s Spring Festival Chinese New Year. It’s around the time that we were getting the first news that it was here, so everyone was leaving for vacation,” Cook remarked.

Coronavirus in China

Cook, a school teacher specializing in English, was hundreds of miles away from her apartment and school in Wuhan when the coronavirus spread like lightening, leaving her a bit stranded.

Coronavirus in China

“I have a travel backpack full of some clothes, my phone and my kindle but other than that, all of my stuff is stuck in Wuhan,” Cook added.

While being kept away from Wuhan is good news to Allie’s parents, waiting for Allie to make her way home to Haddon Heights, in Camden County is still a worry.

“We’re grateful she wasn’t in Wuhan when it broke out,” Allie’s dad, David Cook, said.

“I feel confident that she’s healthy. Emotionally, I think she’s pretty roughed up right now. Just with everything going on and the unknown,” Stephanie Cook, Allie’s mom, added.

“They’re staying in hostels. They’ve actually had a few hostels reject them because they said they were from Wuhan,” David Cook went on. “If all goes well, she has to fly to Seoul, then to Detroit and then to Philly.”

She will have to go through a CDC checkpoint.

“If the CDC wants to do this whole work up, that’s great. The more the better,” Stephanie said.

“As a parent, you just want to grab them and bring them home and keep them safe,” David stated.

Allie has no idea when she’ll be allowed to travel back to Wuhan and to the students in the teaching program she’s been working with. Travel restrictions are indefinite at this time.

Her parents say let’s get her safe at home, first.