HOUSTON – Houston city council member Letitia Plummer announces that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, less than a week after appearing at a city council meeting.
Plummer said she’s been battling with the virus and resting as she heals.
“I literally have gone from my bed to the lounge chair to the floor, the body pain is just horrible,” she said.
Plummer said she initially had digestive issues starting last Thursday, but no fever or cough, making her think she may have eaten something bad. She decided to self-isolate and get tested the next day.
The council member sent an open letter to Mayor Sylvester Turner on Monday, informing him of the test results and requesting that her staff needing to get tested too.
Plummer was at a city council meeting last week, seen wearing a mask, and has been out in the community helping to feed the hungry.
“Being able to give back and take care of people that just don't have right now is something I would do again and again. Obviously, I don't want to be sick, but no regrets there,” Plummer said.
The council member wants people to take precautions, including wearing a mask and following the CDC’s guidelines.
“If you're not feeling good, get tested. That's it,” Plummer said. “If you don't feel like your normal self, then you need to get tested.”
She said her three sons tested negative and are spending time away with their father until she clears the virus. She stated that she will not be able to attend any council meetings until she tests negative for COVID-19.
Council members are taking precautions after Plummer announced her diagnosis.
“As I sit right next to Council Member Plummer at council meetings, I made the decision to quarantine myself until May 20, 14 days after my last contact with her. I was also tested yesterday at the city testing site at Delmar Stadium. I have notified my own doctor of the situation. I am currently asymptomatic and feel fine. I wish my colleague Dr. Plummer a very speedy recovery,” Council Member Sallie Alcorn said.
Council Member Greg Travis said while he is not opposed to being testing, he didn’t want to waste a test as they are still in limited supply.
“I would be interested in getting tested for the antibodies as I suspect I had this back in early February due to the symptoms I had at that time. Or, I could have just had a three-day cold. Won’t know until we have the antibody tests available," Travis said. “As for doing anything different, probably not. I have always been relatively cautious. I wash my hands often and stay away from areas with limited to poor air circulation. I don’t ride mass transit and I don’t visit nursing homes.”
Read Plummer’s full written letter to Mayor Turner below:
Turner released the following written statement:
“Today, the City of Houston reported 229 positive COVID-19 cases. The number of people that have tested positive is a reminder that we are still facing a public health crisis. The virus does not discriminate, and people of all ages and ethnicities have been affected.
“I am praying for Council Member Letitia Plummer’s speedy recovery as she isolates at home. Based on my observations, she has been careful to protect her health and the safety of those around her by practicing social distancing and wearing facial coverings.
“In addition to her role with the City of Houston, Council Member Plummer has kept a busy schedule at her two dental practices and distributing masks and organizing food giveaways in the community.
“I will continue to ask everyone, including city employees, members of the public, and elected officials to follow the CDC guidelines for this pandemic. Please wear your face coverings, practice social distancing, get tested, and stay home if you feel sick.”
David Persse, MD, of the Public Health Authority issued the following statement to city council members:
"Members of City Council and staffers,
"Following the announcement that a member of City Council has tested positive for the Coronavirus SARS CoV-2, many have asked about their need to be tested and how to have a test performed.
"The case of the Council Member will be investigated to determine who may be a close contact and have symptoms consistent with potential COVID-19 virus infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat). These individuals should be tested. Others may wish to be tested. Remember that testing is diagnostic and not a treatment or prevention to infection.
"To obtain testing I recommend you first contact your primary care physician who will work with you to determine if testing is appropriate for your particular circumstance. A major advantage to going through your primary care physician is to ensure both you and your physician get the results. In addition, many health plans have established means to quickly have patients tested and expedite result reporting. Many City employees use Cigna as their health plan and Kelsey-Seybold as their health care provider. Attached please find a flyer to help facilitate testing for those who use Kelsey-Seybold.
"Finally, if for any reason you are unable to get tested by the above means and still wish to be tested, please contact William Paul Thomas after 9AM tomorrow who will be able to facilitate your being tested at either the Butler or Delmar Stadium locations.
David E. Persse, MD
Public Health Authority"