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BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN READY TO SERVE — The City of DeLand team is ready to help hundreds of children load up on school supplies Aug. 7 at the DeLand Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway in Earl Brown Park. Mayor Bob Apgar, who is now quarantined at home with COVID-19, is at center. With him, from left, are City Commissioner Jessica Davis, newly appointed Public Works Director Ray Underwood and City Commissioners Kevin Reid and Chris Cloudman.

The mayors of both DeLand and Pierson are down with COVID-19-related illnesses.

What started out as a runny nose became a cause for quarantine for DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar.

Apgar first realized his symptoms Aug. 11, he said, but a runny nose is not that uncommon for the DeLand mayor. 

“Then as the weekend progressed, it dropped into my chest,” he told The Beacon Aug. 17. “Around Sunday, I began to think it was something different, and that’s why I got tested yesterday.”

He tested positive, and is now quarantined at home. He attended the DeLand City Commission meeting Aug. 16 from his home, via Zoom.

Apgar received his second COVID-19 vaccine shot in February 2021, and said in a post on Facebook that he believes his vaccination has contributed to a less-severe illness.

“No one has ever said that the vaccine or other suggested protective measures would be a foolproof solution, but the vaccine is our most effective weapon in protecting ourselves from COVID-19,” Apgar wrote on Facebook. “That’s why I am urging all of our residents to get vaccinated to protect yourselves and your loved ones, and follow all of the CDC guidelines.”

Apgar’s symptoms have registered as little more than a bad cold, he said. The mayor also urged anyone who saw him last week to consider getting tested for COVID-19.

“This is a real problem in our country, and across the world, and everything anybody can do to help others not become infected with COVID is a good thing,” Apgar said. “Get the shots, follow the CDC guidelines and do the right thing.”

<p><p>Pierson Town Council Chairman Samuel Bennett</p></p><p></p>
Pierson Town Council Chairman Samuel Bennett

Pierson’s mayor, Samuel G.S. Bennett, is hospitalized with pneumonia after recently fighting off COVID-19. Bennett tested positive for COVID-19 more than 14 days ago, and while he is over the COVID-19 now, he told The Beacon, he is now fighting double pneumonia.

The Town of Pierson canceled a regular Town Council meeting Aug. 10 and a Planning Commission meeting Aug. 17 out of an abundance of caution due to the current COVID-19 surge in cases. So far during the pandemic, Pierson has not conducted its meetings online.

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