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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego State freshman documents COVID-19 quarantine on TikTok

After moving from Chicago, the freshman said she only had contact with a handful of people. Then, she tested positive for COVID-19.

With hundreds of San Diego State students testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), the university has now decided to test every student living on campus. So what happens to those who test positive? A freshman agreed to share her first-hand experience.

“Long story short, I'm a student at San Diego State and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Emily Gerdes posted to TikTok. “[I] had a little panic attack, packed up my room and then got picked up by someone at the school and was on my way to isolation.”

Emily documented her experience on the popular social media app. The kinesiology major from Chicago moved into her housing on August 21 and thought she was doing everything right to protect herself. 

“There was literally like three people that I hung out with other than my suitemates and then I still got it,” Emily told us over a Zoom interview from the apartment where she’s in quarantine.

Contact tracing tipped her off she'd been exposed and, other than a sore throat, she was asymptomatic, but when her test results came back, off to isolation she went. 

“The first couple of days here were pretty terrible, not going to lie,” Emily said. “I definitely had a few breakdowns over the past couple of days, but now that I'm kind of over the hill, I'm starting to feel better about it.”

Emily's COVID-19 symptoms eventually included a headache, fever and fatigue, but now on day seven of her isolation on Wednesday, she said she's feeling a lot better. Her biggest complaint? Definitely the food that's dropped off outside her door. She showed News 8 a bowl – and tried to describe what was inside. 

“I think it's like tater tots and cheese and it's something else," said Emily. "I think it's supposed to be like a makeshift breakfast omelette or something, but it's definitely not something I find appetizing so I did not indulge myself in that,” she said with a laugh.

Because of a spike in cases among students, Wednesday morning San Diego State started testing students living on campus. Emily is worried that the results will show the problem is a lot bigger than expected. 

“I don't know if they're going to shut us down or what's going to happen," said Emily. "I certainly don't want to go home. I just got here.”

Emily said even though she should have coronavirus antibodies, once she's released from isolation on Saturday she still plans to go out of her way to stay safe. She hopes other students will also continue to wear masks and social distance. 

“Don't be that person," said Emily. "Everyone wants to be here. We're all paying a lot of money, so just do your part and eventually we'll be able to have an actual school year.”