South Jersey woman returns home after being stranded in Peru due to COVID-19

HADDONFIELD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- It's been 22 days since a South Jersey woman and four of her friends traveled to South America, only to get stranded in Peru by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, 24-year-old Kacie Brandenburg, of Haddonfield, was able to get on a flight home.

Brandenburg and her friends have been stuck in a hostel in Peru.

Thanks to Senator Robert Menendez, they're coming home.

Brandenburg and her friends arrived in Cusco, Peru on March 12, one day after the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Three days later, Peru closed its borders.

Two people at their hostel tested positive for the virus and, and as a result, the government had all 150 guests remain in place.

To help get them home, Brandenburg's family enlisted the help of Menendez.

"I personally called the Peruvian ambassador to the U.S.," Menendez told Action News. "I'm glad that the State Department got a MEDVAC plane. Kacie is on her way to the U.S. tonight."

Menendez is on the Senate Foreign Relations committee and he's currently helping hundreds of citizens from New Jersey who are stuck abroad.

Brandenburg and her friends work at Walt Disney World. Their flight returned them to Orlando.
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