WMU student home from China, symptom-free in quarantine

Coronavirus

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Western Michigan University student who was stuck in China for weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak is safely stateside.

As of Wednesday, Dylan Tulett remained in quarantine at his family’s Kent County home as a precaution. He has not had any symptoms of COVID-19, which has sickened tens of thousands of people in China.

An undated courtesy photo of Dylan Tulett.
An undated courtesy photo of Dylan Tulett.

Tulett was in China to study Mandarin in Beijing. While on a holiday break, he went to a small village in the southern part of the country and found himself more or less trapped there by road blocks meant to slow the spread of the outbreak. The family he was staying with ran out of food for a couple of days until they were allowed to travel to a nearby village.

“Western Michigan University, they have an Asian institute there that had connections with a school in the province that I was in, and so yeah, after about a week three, it was a few government officials that came in a car and picked me up on Feb. 16,” he described Wednesday, speaking to News 8 via video chat. “It’s kind of a shocking moment because I wasn’t sure exactly when they were going to come and, I mean, we’re in the midst of trying to get ahold of people and I was just in bed and suddenly they were shouting my name out of the window.”

He was back in the U.S. the next day, flying through Shanghai and Tokyo before arriving at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

There, customs officials checked his temperature and gave him a form to keep track of his temperature for 14 days. His quarantine should be up Monday.

Tulett said one of his instructors in China paid for his airline ticket because he ran out of money and wasn’t able to quickly transfer funds.

He is not sure if he will be able to finish his program in China.

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