ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack said he was back at work Thursday morning receiving a negative result in a follow-up after testing positive nearly two weeks ago for the virus.
News broke Wednesday, Aug. 4 that Mack, who became fully vaccinated in January, had recently tested positive for COVID-19.
“About two weeks ago now, I started getting cold or flu-like symptoms,” Mack said. “When I learned that I had come in contact with someone who had tested positive, I went and got tested and it was positive.”
Mack said he immediately went into quarantine and believes that because of the vaccine, his symptoms were mild.
“I firmly believe that had it not been for the vaccine, it probably would have been much worse,” he said.
Mack said he would encourage anyone who hasn’t already received the vaccine to go ahead and do so.
“It’s a personal choice and should be a personal choice,” he said. “But the vaccines have been out there now for several months and with this latest outbreak, I wholeheartedly encourage anyone that can do so to consider taking the vaccine.”
The announcement that Mack had tested positive for COVID-19 came on the same day he posted an update on social media letting “everyone know how the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to deal with the most recent COVID-19 breakout.”
“In our correction center, we continue to restrict visitations and are employing various disinfectant procedures,” according to the post. “We also are continuing to hold vaccination clinics for those inmates who wish to obtain the vaccine. As of today, we have several inmates who have tested positive to COVID-19 and are addressing those issues.”
Mack said in a phone interview Aug. 5 that about 25 inmates had tested positive over the last four weeks.
“We went May, June and most of July without a single case,” he said. “Then about July 12 or 13, the first cases were reported.”
Mack also said that six employees have self-quarantined over the last four weeks because of COVID, “a couple who tested positive themselves and the rest who had a family member test positive.”
“We are employing various procedures in all of our offices to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said in the social media post. “At this time, all of our offices are open and normal operating procedures are in place.”
Mack also expressed condolences to the Robertsdale Police Department, who recently lost a corrections officer due to complications from COVID-19 and specifically asked for prayers and support for hospitals in Baldwin County.
“Our hospitals and medical clinics are currently being heavily inundated with positive cases and serious situations,” according to the post. “They are doing a tremendous job in helping to fight this pandemic.”
The Sheriff's Office will continue to provide all of the services and assist the public in whatever way they can, Mack said.
“However, we encourage everybody to practice safe hygiene, and precautionary measures. Once again, if you have not been vaccinated please consider taking the vaccination.”