The mayor of Galveston County’s biggest city has tested positive for coronavirus and must quarantine for at least two weeks while he recovers, he told The Daily News on Tuesday.
Mayor Pat Hallisey, 70, felt ill Monday and went to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston to be tested for COVID-19 infection, he said.
Doctors confirmed later that day that Hallisey tested positive for the virus, he said.
“I’m just not having fun,” he said. “I’m feeling puny.”
Hallisey sounded hoarse Tuesday on the phone and told The Daily News he was suffering with a sore throat and a bad cough.
The mayor was upset he’d have to miss a council meeting Tuesday night, explaining it was a bad time for him to be sick.
“With all the stuff going on and all the city stuff going on, this is the worst time of the year to be ill,” he said.
City administrators learned about the positive test Tuesday morning and were evaluating who’d been in contact with Hallisey and beginning the process of contact tracing, said Sarah Greer Osborne, spokeswoman for the city.
Several members of the city council had been tested for coronavirus after learning the news.
Hallisey was present at a council meeting Nov. 10 and attended a Veteran’s Day celebration Wednesday and an event at the College of the Mainland’s League City campus Thursday.
City officials are reaching out to people who attended those events, including U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, state Sen. Larry Taylor and others, Greer Osborne said.
The city also is contacting employees and requesting that they receive a coronavirus test as well, Greer Osborne said.
Hallisey is the first Galveston County elected official to publicly confirm he’d tested positive for the virus.
Hallisey was named the 2018 Galveston County Daily News Citizen of the Year for his efforts after Hurricane Harvey in late August 2017. He encouraged and energized residents after Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain on some parts of the county, flooding more than 20,000 homes.
In October 2017, Hallisey had a heart attack before a city council meeting. In the touch-and-go days that followed, doctors amputated his left leg.