Cleveland Mayor Emeritus Tom Rowland and his wife Sandra confirmed on Saturday that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantined at home where they are resting comfortably.
“We don’t bad feel at all,” the former mayor told the Cleveland Daily Banner on Saturday. “We both have had migraine headaches all week, but today is the best day we've had. We feel really good today.”
While both have been wearing face masks while out in public, and recently having been around several crowds, both decided to get tested last Tuesday at the Bradley County Health Department.
Ms. Rowland was the first to get her test results.
“She got hers back Thursday,” Rowland said. “She was positive. I didn't get mine until this morning (Saturday). I was positive, as well.”
The results didn’t surprise Rowland.
“I think it was obvious that I would be positive, too,” he said.
For now, both are awaiting further word from the local health department.
“They’re supposed to be calling us and giving us more instructions in a day or two,” Rowland said. “I suspect we will be tested again soon.”
Although the Rowlands are unsure where they became infected, the largest crowd they have encountered was while visiting Westmore Chuch of God on Sunday, June 21.
“I'm not saying that’s where we got it, but that was the last big crowd we were in,” he said.
Several people who have attended Westmore services have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.
On June 26, Westmore's Lead Pastor Kelvin Page announced that 12 members of the Westmore family had tested positive for COVID-19.
The announcement was made on the church’s social media page.
Last Wednesday, Daniel W. Clanton, executive pastor and general counsel for Westmore, issued the following statement in response to an inquiry by the Banner.
“On June 24, Westmore Church leadership discovered that a small number of church members had either tested positive for COVID-19 or were displaying symptoms potentially associated with COVID-19,” Clanton said. “On June 26, Westmore leadership made the decision to cancel in-person services at our new Ministry Center in order to mitigate the spread of the virus within our congregation and community.”
Since the announcement on June 26, Clanton said the Westmore Ministry Center has been closed to all meetings and will remain closed until at least July 11.
The Rowlands said they have been in contact with family and friends they have encountered prior to getting tested.
The former mayor and first lady urged Cleveland and Bradley County residents to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
"I want to emphasize wearing a mask everywhere you go,” Rowland said. “Not only protect you, but protect others, as well.”
He also advised hand-washing.
“I think that's extremely important," Rowland said.
The Rowlands, whose schedules are normally packed with activities, are now adjusting to quarantine life, where the highlight of some days is when groceries arrive at their doorstep.
“It’s just boring,” Rowland said of the days spent at home. “Thank goodness for grocery delivery.”