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Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli tests positive for COVID-19

Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli tested positive last week for COVID-19 following a recent business trip to Tennessee, an experience that convinced him the county must find ways to shorten the amount of time it takes to process tests and provide results.

Foppoli, who is vying for the mayor’s seat in Tuesday’s election, said he was tested for coronavirus on Monday, Oct. 26 and received the results late Thursday night, a little over three days later. He said he was tested at the new state-funded coronavirus testing site in Windsor.

“I’m now trying to use it as a learning lesson in a way that we figure out how to make or help the county to create a better system, because that’s ridiculous, the fact that it took me almost five days to find out,” Foppoli said.

Foppoli said he first noticed symptoms about two weeks ago while traveling on a wine sales trip. He said his symptoms were mild and resembled a common cold, including a cough and low fever.

Asked why he waited a week to get tested after he began experiencing symptoms, Foppoli said he was traveling at the time and he didn’t have the common symptoms he’d often heard of, such as shortness of breath, weakness and loss of smell.

“It didn’t match up with what I was experiencing,” he said.

Foppoli returned from his trip Oct. 25, the day before he was tested at the new Windsor testing site at Bluebird Community Center, 25 Bluebird Dr. He said the reason he got tested was to promote the new site, which is operated by OptumServe through a contract with the state.

Foppoli, who served as mayor in 2019 and again this year, is co-founder and owner of Foppoli Wines, Benevolo Wines, and Old Redwood Brewing Company. He is also co-owner of Christopher Creek Winery.

Foppoli said that by the time he got his test results on Thursday night, he was already past his point of infectiousness and the required period for isolation. That period is 10 days plus after onset of symptoms and as long as there is no fever, according to Dr. Sundari Mase, the county health officer.

During the three days that he awaited his test results, Foppoli said he did a minimal amount of campaigning. “The only thing I was really doing for campaigning and standing on the corner waving signs, and we're well over six feet away from everybody,” he said.

Foppoli was also critical that he had not received a phone call from a contact tracer until Sunday. He said he has an appointment with public health staff for a contact tracing investigation on Monday.

Mase said the public heath division did not get the results of Foppoli’s test until it went into “our system” on Saturday night. She said that OptumServe, which also runs a testing site in Santa Rosa, uses commercial laboratory Quest Diagnostics to process the tests.

Mase pointed out that while the OptumServe sites are a valuable service, with the capacity to conduct more than 560 tests a day, they’re primarily for people who are not experiencing symptoms. People with symptoms and people who have come into contact with someone known to have COVID should call their primary care provider, which often offer much quicker turnaround times for test results.

“The thing is, people aren't sure if their symptoms are COVID or not,” Mase said. “If you have a question, go ahead and get tested through your doctor.”

Foppoli said he didn’t get tested sooner because his symptoms weren’t “bad enough to warrant it.”

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @pressreno.

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