You would be hard-pressed to find many officials who have been more diligent and vocal about protecting their citizens from the coronavirus outbreak than Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. So it was a shock to many when she announced via Twitter on Monday evening that she herself has tested positive for COVID-19
“COVID-19 has literally hit home,” Bottoms tweeted. “I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive.”
In an interview with MSNBC, Bottoms said she and her husband had been tested for the virus two weeks ago and they both tested negative. She said they decided to get tested again because her husband “literally has been sleeping since Thursday, which is just not like him.” She said despite them taking “all of the precautions you could possibly take,” they have now both tested positive.
“I have no idea when and where we were exposed,” she said.
While it’s unknown where and when she contracted the virus, it is known what the next steps are for her and whoever has come in contact with her recently.
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
According to an administrative order signed by Georgia Department of Health Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey last month, anyone who came within six feet of Bottoms for 15 minutes or more will have to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.
And Bottoms will have to isolate herself and cooperate with state and local public health personnel to identify and locate those she came into contact with two days before her positive test sample.
She may also have to provide a list of locations she visited during the time she might have potentially transmitted the disease.
On Sunday—the day before she announced her diagnosis—Bottoms held a press conference over the shooting death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, which occurred Saturday night near the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by Atlanta police. During the conference—which was held in a room full of police officers as well as three City Council members and members of Turner’s family—Bottoms called for an end to gun violence saying, “You shot and killed a baby.”
Bottoms told MSNBC that she has already contacted Turner’s parents to let them know of her diagnosis.
News of Bottoms’ diagnosis is especially surprising since she was so vocal in her criticism of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen non-essential businesses in the state back in April. She even shared a racist text she received for speaking out against the Governor. Now, less than three months later, she has contracted the very disease she’s worked so hard at combatting.
BuzzFeed News reports that Georgia has reported more than 95,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,860 deaths. According to 11 Alive, Georgia set a record for new cases on July 2 and in the last two weeks alone, cases increased by an average of 2,201 new cases per day.