OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Mayor Shea Dobson confirmed to WLOX that he tested positive for coronavirus this week after someone in his household tested positive.
The mayor said he has had very mild symptoms.
“A little bit of low grade fever. It never got over 100,” said Dobson. “Over the weekend, I started having a little bit of mucus and a periodic cough but all of my symptoms have been very mild.”
Dobson said he began self-quarantining on Tuesday, July 21, after someone in his house began having symptoms. They both got tested that day. Dobson’s friend got his results back the next day and tested positive. Dobson’s results did not come back until Friday and were negative.
The mayor said he started experiencing mild symptoms that weekend so he took another test on Monday, July 27. He found out the next day on July 28 that his test was positive.
Dobson said he is fortunate that his symptoms have not been severe. He is currently still attending to city business in his official capacity as mayor, however, Mayor Pro Temp Ricky Authement is assisting with anything that must be done in-person.
“I’m still responding to stuff, answering emails and more or less doing my duties, but anything that requires a signature or to physically be there, Ricky is handling it,” said the mayor.
Dobson is believed to be the first city leader in South Mississippi to test positive for the virus.
The mayor told WLOX that, in his case, wearing a mask would not have prevented him from contracting the virus since he got it from someone in his household.
“You can take all the precautions in the world but sometimes it’s kind of an act of God and you got to roll with the punches,” he said.
According to Dobson, masks still need to be worn in public places, although he doesn’t think they are needed everywhere.
“I still think that people need to wear a mask and use their own judgment,” said Dobson. “Every circumstance is different so I still don’t think that every circumstance requires a mask but I think people need to practice responsibility and, if a mask is needed, to go ahead and wear one. But other than that, stay safe and if you do come in contact, do the responsible thing and go ahead and quarantine and get tested.”
Ocean Springs was one of the last cities on the Coast to issue a mask mandate, only doing so after the governor issued an executive order requiring masks in Jackson County.