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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

Bloomington Mayor Tests Positive For COVID-19

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday evening he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner is isolating at home after receiving a positive test for the coronavirus on Tuesday. Renner said he immediately sought a test after his son tested positive.

Renner told WGLT in an interview Tuesday evening he "sort of lost his voice" the day before Thanksgiving and had some upper respiratory symptoms six days later.

“I couldn’t talk. I didn’t feel bad for about a week. I had no other symptoms and thought this is kind of weird. Then, some of the other kinds of symptoms and being lethargic started to hit,” said Renner.

He said he did not immediately leap to the idea he had COVID-19, and did not experience a fever. He said he slowly developed body aches and fatigue.

“The nature of the symptoms in my case were very deceptive,” said Renner. “And I usually have sinus infections a couple times a year.”

Renner said he will stay at home until he tests negative and a doctor clears him.

The mayor said he wears masks when he is at city hall and keeps his distance from other people. He said he is thinking about who might have been exposed.

During a pre-pandemic week, he would have been  in contact with hundreds of people. He said in the last 12 to 13 days, the number is a good question.

“It still would be maybe a hundred, probably, especially if we talk about the last couple of weeks. We ironically had a meeting at the COVID testing site at the Interstate Center two weeks ago within a few hours of when I lost my voice,” said Renner. “That would have included the County Board Chair (John McIntyre), Camille Rodriguez (McLean County administrator), Dan Brady (state representative), Chris Koos (mayor of Normal), and there were many other people there.”

He said that is probably the most public of the events he has attended in that period.

“I wasn’t terribly close to them, but definitely people that I would have encountered,” said Renner, adding even when he goes to a grocery store, people often approach and want to say something to him.

“The main thing I would say to people is get tested. It’s not hard,” said Renner. “The sooner you know the sooner you can prevent the spread of this.”

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