Natchez mayor self-quarantines after possible COVID-19 exposure

Published 9:22 pm Monday, August 24, 2020

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NATCHEZ — Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson is on a 10-day self-imposed quarantine after a person he had lunch with Monday later tested positive for COVID-19, Gibson said.

Gibson said his dining guest went back to work after they sat 3-feet apart from each other, not wearing masks while eating for an hour and later began to feel sick.

Gibson said the person went to Merit Health Natchez and had a rapid COVID-19 test conducted that came back two hours later positive for COVID-19.

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“The person called me, so I reached out to Lance Boyd (Merit Health Natchez CEO) and Dr. Lee England,” Gibson said. “Dr. England told me that the protocol is that no one I came in contact with this afternoon would have anything to worry about but that because I sat for an hour’s lunch, not wearing a mask, while we were 3-feet apart, it was best that I self-quarantine for 10 days.”

Gibson said England told him that with the incubation period for COVID-19 Gibson should know within 10 days if he has COVID-19.

“Just to be on the safe side, as soon as I got the news, I came home and I reached out to everyone I met with today to reassure them that they are OK, but also to let them know that I am going into self-quarantine,” Gibson said, adding he has communicated with his staff members, who are ready to help him do everything from home virtually.

“We will continue with the meetings we have,” Gibson said, noting the Mayor and Board of Aldermen have a full meeting on Tuesday starting at 4:30 p.m. with a budget workshop followed by a regular meeting. “I will just be doing it virtually.”

Natchez has been holding in-person meetings and streaming them on the internet so some people can participate virtually ever since Gibson was elected mayor last month.

“I want to set a good example, and I don’t want to take any risks with all that we are having to deal with right now with this virus,” Gibson said. “The bottom line, I don’t have the virus. I feel good but we will see how the next 10 days go and ask people to please keep me in their prayers.”

Gibson said not only did he go home and self-quarantine immediately upon getting the news but his has also closed his bed and breakfast for the next 10 days as well.

“I will not be hosting any guests at my bed and breakfast for the next 10 days,” Gibson said. “Hopefully, in the next 10 days, I will test negative and life can continue.”