NASHUA, NH – Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess on Tuesday announced he and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19.
The announcement came at the top of the regularly-scheduled Sept. 9 Board of Aldermen meeting. Donchess prefaced the announcement with reiterating how careful city employees have been in following safety guidances at City Hall.
Donchess said a week ago he received a call from the health department that someone he had met with had a family member test positive for the virus.
“I immediately called that employee and said ‘you better get tested,’ which we did right away. In talking about it, it was decided that I and one or two others should be tested,” Donchess relayed to the board.
Results of a first test were “inconclusive” Donchess said. He explained that one strand of viral RNA (ribonucleic acid) was detected, but two are required for a positive diagnosis. He was retested again on Sunday and he got the call that he was positive for the virus. At that time test results for his wife Vicky, who also was experiencing symptoms, were not yet available.
Donchess fielded some well-wishes from the board before leaving the meeting saying that he and his wife were both symptomatic and he was “feeling the effects” of the virus.
“The lesson is no matter how careful you are being, you need to exercise caution,” Donchess said, noting he had avoided group gatherings “except at great distances” and participated in outdoor dining only.
He said somehow the virus had “slipped through City Hall affecting several, including myself.”
“I want to protect our neighbors and friends. For me the symptoms haven’t been too severe, but I know I have a virus. I urge continued caution for our entire community as we have been for the last six months,” Donchess said.
Nashua was one of the first New Hampshire municipalities to issue a mask mandate, which went into effect on May 22, 2020.