Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case
PHOENIX – Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego announced Friday she tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19 but wasn’t symptomatic.
“I have received both doses of the vaccine, and a booster, yet have tested positive for the virus,” she said in a statement.
“I feel fine and am experiencing no symptoms.”
Gallego said she is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for people who test positive.
“I remain in close electronic contact with my staff to ensure my work on behalf of the people of Phoenix continues without interruption,” she said.
Less than three hours after Gallego’s announcement, Phoenix Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari revealed that she too tested positive despite being fully vaccinated and boosted. Ansari said she was “experiencing mild symptoms.”
The omicron variant of COVID-19, which now makes up most of the nation’s cases, is highly contagious and causes more breakthrough infections among vaccinated people than previous variants.
And although omicron appears to produce a smaller percentage of severe illnesses than previous variants, officials are worried the case spike will be large enough to create a significant strain on the hospital system, which already was stretched thin.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 14,888 new cases, the second-largest daily batch of the pandemic, and 30 deaths on Friday, putting the state’s documented totals at 1,445,129 infections and 24,616 fatalities.
The actual caseload is likely higher than the officially reported numbers because ADHS data is based mainly on electronic laboratory reporting and doesn’t include results from home kits unless individuals report them to their health care providers.
Vaccines still provide significant protection against hospitalization and death, while boosters can further reduce the risk of infection.
The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot is 5, and it’s 18 for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer version has full Food and Drug Administration approval, while the other two were granted emergency use authorization.
Boosters are available for adults (plus those 12 and older for Pfizer) who received their second Moderna or Pfizer dose more than five months ago or the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago.
For details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with locations and other information.
For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events. Appointments may be required depending on the provider.