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huntsman signatures COVID-19, SLCO Health Department released Jon Huntsman Jr. from isolation
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SLCO Health released Jon Huntsman Jr. from isolation

FILE - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. answers a question during a meeting with the Deseret News and KSL editorial boards in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department has released Jon Huntsman Jr. from isolation associated with his COVID-19 diagnosis. He went into isolation on June 6 when he learned that someone in his campaign staff had tested positive.

Huntsman was tested for COVID-19 on June 8 and that test resulted in a false negative. When he was tested again on June 10, the test came back positive. 

Huntsman’s wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman tested positive June 18 and is currently in isolation.

“This virus has been a grueling ordeal – from the botched test to the sickness itself,” the former governor said. “While there are still some in my home who are sick and isolating, I’m feeling better and glad to be back on the campaign trail in the last week before the primary election.

“This is a critical election for our future and I urge all Republicans to mail in their ballots.”

 The Utah Republican Primary Election is a mail-in election and is currently underway. Ballots must be postmarked by June 30.

The Huntsman “COVID House”

The SLCO Health Department may have released Jon Huntsman Jr. from isolation, but the rest of his family is still experiencing COVID-19.

Huntsman’s daughter, Abby Huntsman, posted to her Instagram Monday giving an update on how their family is dealing with the virus calling their house the “COVID house.”

She said that, like her father, she received a false-negative diagnosis for COVID-19. She says that for the last two weeks she, too, has been dealing with the virus.

“It’s the weirdest virus, everyone in our house has experienced it totally differently,” she said.

Various symptoms in the Huntsman House

“It feels like a giant snake is perfectly wrapped around your body, and the snake decides when, where, and how it wants to squeeze you,” Abby said.  “One hour it can be your head and you have the worst migraine of your life, the next hour you feel totally fine, then the next hour after that it can be your chest and you are struggling to breathe.”

She said that the fatigue was more extreme than any that Huntsman had ever felt. 

“Even after having twins I’ve never been tired like I have with this virus,” she said.  Others in her household are dealing with fever and aches but the kids have no symptoms at all.

Abby said her sister has Type 1 diabetes and is asymptomatic if she has had it. According to Abby, her mom has no sense of taste or smell although she began regaining her ability to smell on Monday. 

She said that they are going to get through it and she is hoping that by the end of this week the family will all be on the road to recovery. 

Take COVID-19 seriously

In her Instagram message, Abby Huntsman urged her followers to take the disease seriously, wear a mask, and wash their hands.

“When you go out in public, you could be surrounded by people like me that had false-negative tests and they think they’re fine,” she said. 

“We’ve been lucky to be able to heal at home, but not everyone is so lucky.”

Staying positive through it all

She recounted a story about the family getting in the car hoping to get some fresh air, but she says they got a flat tire before they got very far.

“In that moment,” she said, “you just laugh.”

“On top of COVID and everything else, this is just life right now,” she said. “Instead of just being frustrated with everything we have to find laughter, we have to find the beauty, we have to find the joys of life because in all of this I think we better appreciate those moments where you can just laugh.”