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Middlesboro city council completes quarantine, mayor says no positive results were reported

By JOE ASHER
joe.asher@middlesboronews.com

Members of the Middlesboro City Council, Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson, and others in attendance at a city council meeting on Oct. 20 found themselves possibly exposed to COVID-19 during the meeting, leading to the group being quarantined.
According to Nelson, the group completed quarantine Tuesday night. During a phone interview on Monday, Nelson said he was not aware of any of the council testing positive for the virus.
“As a matter of fact, I’ve tested negative and several on the council have said they tested negative,” Nelson said. “Of course, if they tested positive, we would know. As far as I know, everybody’s negative.”
While in quarantine, the group used methods other than in-person communication to keep the city running. Nelson said city business continued throughout the quarantine.
“We did things through email and through the telephone,” Nelson said. “We communicate a lot that way anyway. On a normal day, I get to the office around 7 a.m.”
Nelson said he missed being in the office.
“It’s a better work environment than home,” Nelson explained. “You’ve got all your materials, such as correspondence and paperwork. You’ve got all that stored. We got through it as well as we could.”
Nelson said the Health Department had been in contact with those in quarantine during the 14-day period.
“Several of the council members have said they called them, and brought some of them some groceries,” Nelson said. “That’s part of their protocol. When they quarantined us, they said if you need medicine or groceries let us know.”
A previous report states the council was placed under quarantine by the health department after a person in attendance at the Oct. 20 Middlesboro City Council meeting tested positive for COVID 19.
According to the Center for Disease Control website at https://www.cdc.gov, “Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.”