Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery informed the public Thursday that he is among the more than 500 Henderson County residents who have contracted COVID-19. “It appears that I need to practice more of what I preach,” Montgomery stated in the city newsletter.
“After weeks of asking our citizens to be careful, practice social distancing and take precautions against contracting the coronavirus, I have it! I have tried diligently to practice social distancing and wear my mask in crowds. I have been told that we should be more cautious of public surfaces, handling store purchases and touching fixtures like gas pump handles. Until I am clear of the virus, I will stay isolated and attend city workshops through a computer screen on Zoom or FaceTime.” Montgomery said he began having symptoms on July 25, experiencing a loss of smell, congestion and fatigue. The Mayor’s wife, Lisa, revealed on Facebook she has been tested for the virus and is awaiting results. Monte reportedly received a comprehensive treatment package on Monday and has since begun to feel better. Mayor Pro-tem Ed McCain presided over the City Council meeting Monday in Montgomery’s place. COVID-19 numbers for the county released Thursday show 570 cases. Of those, 403 were active and 160 recovered. There had been seven deaths due to the virus. The City of Athens showed 243 cases and two fatalities. Chandler was second in the county in the number of cases with 58, and two deaths. Malakoff reported 57 cases and one fatality. Single deaths were also reported in Mabank and Trinidad. The 21 to 40 age group, with 175 cases and 41 to 59, with 173, account for most of the illnesses in the county. Women now outnumber men in confirmed cases in the county, 292 to 278.