Mayor hospitalized, councilwoman tests positive for COVID-19

Published 5:05 pm Monday, July 20, 2020

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Washington Mayor Mac Hodges has been hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to his daughter, and Washington City Councilwoman Virginia Finnerty confirmed Monday that she has tested positive for the virus. Finnerty was tested Thursday and received the positive results Friday, a day after Hodges tested positive for the virus. So far, she has been asymptomatic and is self-isolating at home.

“We appreciate everyone’s concern about my dad’s (Mac Hodges) health,” Beth Hodges Fickling wrote Monday. “He is in the hospital with COVID and it is imperative that he rests. Please know that we want you to pray for a full recovery and know that you are acting out of care, but please do not call his cell phone at this time. He needs to rest more than anything else right now.”

Hodges presided over a meeting of the Washington City Council last Monday, and his test results prompted the testing of eight city employees and three city councilmen — William Pitt, Richard Brooks and Donald Sadler. Finnerty and Councilwoman Betsy Kane both participated in the meeting remotely.

According to Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell, the eight city employees who attended the meeting all tested negative for COVID-19. Pitt and Brooks confirmed they were tested after the meeting, with all their test results coming back negative. A social media post last week from Councilman Donald Sadler said he too had been tested, with negative results.

“Everyone in attendance at the council meeting has come back negative,” Russell said Monday.

Councilwoman Betsy Kane said she has not been tested for COVID-19, as she has made a concerted effort to stay away from other people since the virus first came about. Kane has participated remotely in every Washington City Council meeting since March.

For Finnerty, the experience has driven home a point that has been made time and again by health care professionals throughout the pandemic.

“Everybody needs to wear a mask and wash their hands,” she said Monday.