Phoenix, Scottsdale and Flagstaff mayors, at least 2 Phoenix-area council members have COVID-19

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  • Kate Gallego
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From left to right are Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Phoenix Councilmember Yassamin Ansari, Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy, Gilbert Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski and Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega. All have tested positive for COVID-19.
From left to right are Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Phoenix Councilmember Yassamin Ansari, Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy, Gilbert Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski and Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega. All have tested positive for COVID-19.

As COVID-19 surges in Arizona, the virus is spreading through city halls.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega and Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy have the virus, along with Phoenix Councilmember Yassamin Ansari and Gilbert Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski.

Tempe Councilmember Jennifer Adams is sick and believes she has it. She is awaiting test results. Surprise Councilmember Ken Remley got the virus two weeks ago.

All were vaccinated, most with boosters. Most have or had mild symptoms. Many took the opportunity to remind people to get vaccinated, for the protection it offers against severe cases of the virus.

Councils in the Phoenix area all are back to meeting in person, except for Phoenix, where staffers deliver reports in person but the council and public call in.

Phoenix

Gallego, who tested positive Thursday evening, is not experiencing symptoms at this time.

"Across the nation, people who have been vaccinated and boosted are still contracting a mild version of Covid-19," Gallego said in a statement. "I have received both doses of the vaccine, and a booster, yet have tested positive for the virus."

Gallego said she is following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for isolation.

"I remain in close electronic contact with my staff to ensure my work on behalf of the people of Phoenix continues without interruption," she said.

Gallego worked in the office this week, according to spokesperson Jeanine L'Ecuyer.

Her staff has been asked to work from home at least through the first part of next week. No one on her staff has tested positive so far, L'Ecuyer said.

Ansari said Friday she had mild symptoms.

Ansari's office instated a work from home policy as early as Dec. 27 "when medical professionals warned us of what was to come," according to her statement.

Gallego and Ansari are strong proponents of the COVID-19 vaccine and mask use.

"I’d urge every resident to continue to get tested regularly, vaccinated if they haven’t (done) so already, and upgrade their masks to a KN95 as scientists have encouraged," Ansari said.

No other Phoenix council members have tested positive at this time, according to a council spokesperson.

Scottsdale

Ortega said Friday he is ending his period of isolation and "feels great."

He said he tests weekly as a precaution.

He will test again the morning of the next council meeting Jan. 11 and will preside remotely.

"I encourage everyone to vaccinate," he said.

Ortega announced this week that he is canceling the State of the City address that was planned for Jan. 18. Instead, he will release a video in February.

"Scottsdale has many reasons to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of our community," Ortega said in a statement. "While we won't do that together in person as I would have liked, I look forward to sharing those stories, and talking about the challenges and choices that lie ahead."

Flagstaff

Deasy said on Twitter that he tested positive on Wednesday after experiencing a mild sore throat.

"Thankful to be vaccinated so symptoms are so mild. Please get tested if you have any symptoms whatsoever. What is mild to you can be deadly to others," he posted on Twitter.

The northern Arizona city will hold the remainder of this month's council meetings virtually as the omicron variant surges.

'It's not too late': Arizona health care workers demand state action against omicron

Surprise

Remley in Surprise tested positive on Dec. 23, and was sick for a few days with a mild case but is feeling better now.

Remley said he was vaccinated but not boosted.

Remley said with his health conditions, including COPD, he believes he would have died from the virus if he had not been vaccinated.

He said he has tried to convince many who are hesitant to get vaccinated.

Gilbert

Koprowski in Gilbert tested positive on New Year’s Day after beginning to feel ill. She believes she was exposed on Christmas.

She is vaccinated, but not boosted.

The council member said she is isolating, working from home and on the mend.

Omicron: It's exceptionally contagious. Here's what to do if you test positive

Tempe

Adams in Tempe said she believes she has COVID-19 because she was unknowingly exposed to the virus. She is isolating at home while she waits for test results.

She said she is fully vaccinated and boosted and has been taking precautions such as wearing face masks when out of the house.

She said she is feeling very sick and that her symptoms are more than mild.

"Make no mistake this virus is extremely contagious," she wrote. "Please stay safe out there."

Reach the reporter at jen.fifield@azcentral.com or at 602-444-8763. Follow her on Twitter @JenAFifield.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: At least 3 Arizona mayors, 2 Phoenix area councilmembers have COVID-19

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