Mayor Pat Hallisey has been moved to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital two days after he tested positive for coronavirus.
Hallisey, 70, is expected to remain at the hospital for five to seven days as doctors monitor his oxygen levels and prescribe treatment, city officials announced Thursday morning.
Hallisey spoke Thursday morning with City Manager John Baumgartner and remained positive, upbeat and optimistic about a speedy recovery, officials said.
Hallisey urged everyone to keep wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands, officials said.
Hallisey felt ill Monday and went to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston to be tested for COVID-19 infection, he told The Daily News Tuesday.
Doctors confirmed later that day that Hallisey tested positive for the virus, 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 Veterans Day celebration Nov. 11 and an event at the College of the Mainland’s League City campus Nov. 12.
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.