‘Now is not the time to relax:’ Mayor of Conway warns community that COVID-19 is still a threat


CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – After following strict CDC guidelines to prevent being exposed to COVID-19, the mayor of Conway says she was somehow exposed.

On Tuesday Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy announced she and her husband, Bobby, tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I was one of those careful people. I never went anywhere without a mask. I mean, I washed the skin off my hands. I kept my distance,” said Blain-Bellamy.

The mayor says she started experiencing symptoms last Wednesday after she lost her sense of taste.

In the following days she began to feel weak and weighted.

She experienced low-grade fever that came and went, but never reached 100 degrees.

The fever was the deciding factor for the mayor and her husband to get tested for COVID-19.

The pair were tested on Sunday and the mayor says she was feeling on the mend.

But Bobby took a turn for the worse.

“You know how you can gauge a person’s energy by their voice? I mean his voice was at the level of a whisper,” said Blain-Bellamy.

Bobby was admitted to the hospital on Monday due to complications with diabetes.

During his stay, the positive COVID test result came back.

The mayor’s positive results came the next day.

“I’ll never forget how he looked when I was forced to leave him and when I left him [Tuesday] I read in that same face, that we both understand that I don’t know when I’ll get to see him again. I don’t know when I’ll get to look in his eyes again,” said Blain-Bellamy.

The mayor says she will focus on her husband’s health and informing the community with updates she receives.

The City of Conway took immediate action upon the mayor’s diagnosis and closed city buildings to the public.

All city employees are asked to self-quarantine and work from home to monitor symptoms.

“It’s been up to them as to whether or not they want to test and self quarantine, but we are asking them to do at least the stay-at-home quarantine,” said Taylor Newell, city spokesperson.

Newell says the city has not hosted any public events, but the mayor was involved in a peaceful protest march within the city on Sunday May 31.

The mayor says during the pandemic she has learned to refrain from hugging and shaking hands, however, anyone who may have come in contact is asked to take appropriate action.

The city is asking anyone who may have been exposed to contact a doctor and self quarantine to monitor symptoms.

The mayor and her husband are recovering from their symptoms.

Stay with News13 for updates as we learn them.

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