Wright completes isolation period after testing positive for COVID

By , Daily Memphian Updated: October 02, 2020 6:02 PM CT | Published: October 02, 2020 2:55 PM CT

Shelby County Commissioner Mick Wright has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the first-term commissioner announced Friday, Oct. 2.

“I do not know how I contracted the virus,” Wright said in a written statement. “On the rare occasions that I have visited public spaces, I have worn a surgical mask, have practiced social distancing and have regularly washed and sanitized my hands. Unfortunately, we are fighting a virus that continues to spread despite these protective measures.”

Wright said he is in full recovery from “very minor symptoms.”


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The announcement came after Wright completed an isolation period following a positive test for the virus last month. That test came after he was treated for an ear infection and then experienced mild symptoms, prompting the move to a COVID test.

With the positive test, Wright was instructed to self-isolate and worked with contact tracers at the Shelby County Health Department.

The tracing effort showed that Wright’s wife, Alison Wright, was the only person who could have been exposed in the days before he was tested and after as he was in self-isolation. She tested negative for the virus.

“We have learned this virus is extremely contagious and unpredictable,” the commissioner said. “My hope is that researchers, pharmaceutical companies, health care professionals and policy makers will continue to speed toward the production and distribution of effective treatments and vaccine.”


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Wright attended the most recent commission meeting Sept. 28 with an online link to the proceedings and was not physically present in the commission chambers.

The meetings usually begin with a question-and-answer session with Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter. Wright has questioned the medical advice and science behind mask mandates and restrictions on businesses as part of the pandemic response.

During a commission discussion of police reform measures and use of excessive force by police last month, he also said he considered those pandemic measures an infringement on civil liberties and a use of excessive force.

But, Wright has worn a mask when attending commission sessions in person. At a campaign rally in Cordova this past August for Republican U.S. Senate contender Dr. Manny Sethi, Wright was among those at the rally wearing a mask, while about half of the crowd, including Sethi and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, went without masks.

Fellow commissioner Tami Sawyer was critical of Wright not notifying the body of his positive test immediately calling it “incredibly disrespectful to share chambers with other people and not notify them that you contacted COVID-19.”

“We also have families,” she said in the tweet.

“If I had attended a meeting in person within any amount of time, I would have informed all commissioners and staff,” Wright replied. “That was not the case. I was already attending remote.”

Topics

COVID 19 cases Mick Wright Shelby County Commission
Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.


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