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Hundreds of Virginians stuck overseas as COVID-19 closes borders

Virginian Chyann Mackey is one of them, and has been stuck in Peru since January.
Posted at 12:26 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 00:36:42-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Thousands of Americans remain stuck overseas with COVID-19 spreading.

Virginian Chyann Mackey is one of them, and has been stuck in Peru since January.

“I would definitely rather be home with my family at this time while all of this is going on," Mackey said.

The Shenandoah Valley native said she arrived in January for a mission trip before the pandemic started

“I’ve been here years in the past on mission trips with my church but this is the first time coming by myself," Mackey said. “I had no idea anything was happening at that time.”

She’s now one of thousands searching for a way out.

"So there are close to 100 Virginians and over 2,000 Americans stuck in Peru right now, all over the entire country," Mackey said.

Peruvian government officials report more than 400 confirmed cases in the country and are placing tight restrictions in communities.

Meanwhile, Americans in Honduras are facing the same obstacle.

Jessi Renehan, a Richmond native, was one of many teachers in Honduras who made it out. She and others caught an ICE deportation plane back to the United States on the 21st.

She now worries about those still left behind.

"We got an email from U.S. Embassy estimating that thousands of Americans were in Honduras," Renehan said.

Americans like Mackey just hope they can find their ticket out soon.

“Trying to stay hopeful that I can get home as soon as possible," Mackey said.

President Trump addressed the concerns at a briefing Sunday, stating that the United States is continuing to work officials in Peru and Honduras to get all Americans stuck, back to the U.S. safely.