COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado Springs woman is hoping that Tuesday night will be her last night in Mexico. She’s been stuck there alone for an additional week after testing positive for COVID-19.
Jennifer Owens left for Mexico on March 22 and was supposed to fly back on March 30. She had a negative test four days before going to Mexico, but when she took the mandatory COVID-19 test to fly home, her results were different. The test came back positive, which has cost her an additional $2,000 in expenses to try and return back to the US.
“It’s really hard to get stuck 40 feet from a pool in paradise and not be able to go out,” Owens said.
Owens is a salon owner and calls Mexico her “happy place.” She took a final trip with her youngest son and a friend before spinal surgery.
“I wanted one more trip here to have fun and live it up – if you will – and then it kind of turned into the disaster of life,” Owens explained.
Her two 11-year-old kids tested negative for COVID-19, but she wasn’t as lucky. Owen said she started feeling bad the day after she arrived but thought it was a sinus infection.
“I had a runny nose; I was super tired, I got muscle aches,” Owens added. “But I never thought in a million years that I would have COVID.”
In the U.S., the 10-day isolation period starts when the symptoms start, but she said in Mexico, a person has to stay in isolation for 14 days once they test positive.
“It’s literally the Mexican government and the Mexican officials at the airport that has to allow you to leave their country. So they aren’t listening to what the U.S. is asking for which was unbeknownst to me. So really, what I should have done when I got here and not feeling well was go immediately and take the test and be put in quarantine immediately rather than a week later, but again I didn’t know that I had COVID, and it is what it is at this point,” Owens explained.
She’s even had two doctors (one American, one Mexican) give her the green light to travel.
“Even the doctor said you are free to go and then to have a manager at a resort say too bad, we aren’t letting you out,” Owens added. “I have never been held against my will in my life, and that’s probably a huge privilege, but it’s very bizarre.”
She’s had to pay $200 per doctor visit and test. Owen’s husband had to fly to Mexico to bring the kids home, but getting them to the airport was another obstacle to overcome.
“The hotel would not help me get my children to the airport whatsoever,” Owen said. “I had no idea it would be this challenging to leave because you are at the mercy of the country that you are in.”
Owens has a flight scheduled for noon on Wednesday. The hotel she was staying at didn’t charge her during quarantine; however, if she can’t board the plane, she’ll have to find a different place to stay on her own dime for a couple more days.
*** Owens on Wednesday made it home to Colorado Springs at 3:45 p.m. She said it will be a trip that she won’t forget anytime soon.