Coronavirus: Bay Area mom and daughter among the 195 cleared from quarantine

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Bay Area mom and daughter cleared from coronavirus quarantine
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Nearly 200 evacuees from China were cleared from federal quarantine on Tuesday afternoon.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Nearly 200 evacuees from China were cleared from federal quarantine on Tuesday afternoon.

The group flew out of China in late-January and was eventually taken to March Air Reserve Base in Southern California.

All underwent 14 days of federal quarantine.

In the group, a Palo Alto mother and daughter who were in Wuhan, China to visit family when the coronavirus outbreak hit.

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Tebeka spoke with ABC7 News through FaceTime on her drive back to Palo Alto, on Tuesday evening.

Her husband, Haim Tebeka, in the driver's seat.

"He's right here," Esther said as she moved the camera to show her husband. "Very happy to see him of course!"

Tuesday brought the first sight of family in more than six weeks. Tebeka shared her timeline with ABC7 News on Monday.

Back in the South Bay, two other Tebeka kids expressed their eagerness to reconnect with their mom and sister.

"Tonight is the night where I'm going to cry out of joy," 13-year-old Rivky Tebeka told ABC7 News.

She and her 11-year-old brother have spent the last few weeks with the Perlov family in San Jose.

The Perlov's are members of the same Chabad, who took the opportunity to help.

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"They thought that this would be just few days. I said, 'Sure,'" Luba Perlov said. "And then they called asking to keep them for two more weeks. 'Whatever you say!'"

Perlov added, the message here is to "take opportunities when we have in our life to do some good things for others. It's the main thing."

She said she has no coronavirus concern when it comes to the Tebeka's.

However, health officials are calling on the U.S. to welcome the 195 cleared quarantine members back into their communities.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser with Riverside County Public Health told the public, "I don't want someone to be attacked or ostracized, or outed for having been part of this quarantine group."

Tebeka admitted she has already come across several social media posts, raising concern.

"Don't worry. It's not the end of the world," she told ABC7 News. "We are not sick. But if anything, I'm willing to quarantine myself a little further just to make them feel better, make them feel safer."

Her daughter Rivky added, "If somebody happens to have gone through something that is hard, I think that it's more important to be with them than to stay away from them."

Tebeka said, while challenging at times, her experience is one that will go down in history.

"I've seen what is going on in China, then I got on this flight," she said. "We're the first ones that they evacuated by the government."

As for what comes next, Tebeka said, "I'll be happy to take this time off just enjoy the time with my family, and cook good meals for them. I think that's very important."

"I don't want this event to become a negative memory in my kids' life," she said.

See more stories related to coronavirus here.