Randy Rowse says he’s asymptomatic
Mayor Randy Rowse may have tested positive for COVID-19, but you couldn’t tell it from the way he answered the phone Monday.
“I’m good, thanks,” he told the News-Press. “What’s going on?”
The mayor, who stressed that he’s asymptomatic, said he tested negative Monday, three days after a rapid at-home testing kit revealed he had been infected with COVID-19.
He began taking Paxlovid on advice from his doctor. Doctors prescribe the antiviral drug to reduce the risk of severe illness for people infected with COVID.
He plans to speak with his doctor again on Wednesday, and if he tests negative again, he could be cleared to attend this year’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta festivities, which begin later that day with La Fiesta Pequena, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Mission.
But he’s almost positive he won’t be there.
“If I test negative by Wednesday, that means that I’m not contagious,” he said. “I’m still deciding whether or not to be out in public. I doubt I probably will. I don’t want to take the chance of putting anyone at risk.
“There’s a very, very small chance, but this is Fiesta. I’m a big boy, and I have to think about the people out there. I don’t want to put them in an uncomfortable position.”
The mayor said he has a “tendency toward sinus infections,” and when he got the sniffles earlier last week, he decided to take a COVID-19 home test made available by the city — just to be sure.
He took the test last Wednesday and tested negative, two days before he tested positive.
Asked how he contracted COVID, he quipped, “I don’t know. How did (President) Biden get it?” He said he probably got it from someone close to him who had tested positive.
“It just happened,” he said, despite the fact that he’s been vaccinated and gotten two booster shots. “It’s not unusual to not feel anything from this variant, which is nice.”
Mayor Rowse said some of his fellow city council members have tested positive for COVID. “I know it’s gone through there.”
The mayor attended the past two council meetings in person without wearing a mask, but said Monday that council members sit “pretty far apart” from each other so no one was at risk.
But he added that he talks to “a lot of people every day” and someone might have been exposed, adding that the only way to truly avoid being infected with COVID is to live in a bubble.
“You could follow me and do contact tracing,” he said.