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‘I wouldn’t wish this on anyone’: Mayor Henry on his breakthrough case of COVID-19

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is sharing what he felt during his breakthrough case of COVID-19 that he got after he'd been fully vaccinated.

"This is something that I would not wish on anybody. And we were vaccinated! I can only imagine what it must be like not being vaccinated and being hooked up to a ventilator," he said.

Henry got his first COVID-19 shot in early February.

This is his first week back in office after he and his wife experienced a breakthrough case of the coronavirus.

"I don't think there's any question that had we not been vaccinated to lessen the impact of COVID, I think both of us probably would have ended up in the hospital, and Lord knows what might have happened as a result of that," Henry said.

He says his main symptom for 10-12 days was extreme exhaustion.

"It was total fatigue. I had a very difficult time getting out of bed and moving around. I was extremely weak," Henry said.

His wife Cindy is still at home with fatigue and a cough, which the mayor never developed.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry got his first COVID-19 shot in early February.

He's not sure where he may have been exposed, but says the department of health recommended he get tested which came back positive.

Henry says he was concerned because he had heart surgery about five years ago, but even more so because of his age.

"Unfortunately we have had friends whose lives have been lost to COVID, so certainly that weighed heavily on us and still does," he said.

Henry says if he could he would require all city employees to get the shots because as public servants they interact with residents, but a change in state law last year prohibits him from doing that.

He says he would prefer not to close Citizens Square or see businesses closed or with reduced capacity like earlier in the pandemic, but says nothing is off the table.

"We would prefer not to go to closure because the devastating effect the last time we did have. And we'd rather not go down that road again, but everything's on… it has to be. We just don't know what's around the corner," he said.

He wants to continue to encourage people to get vaccinated and wants to open more vaccination sites.

He also says he'll now fist bump, not shake hands, and will wear a mask in large crowds.

Henry says his administration will look at masking, hand sanitizer availability, and ways to separate employees and the public as early as Monday.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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