Michael Welch

Michael W. Welch

North Pole Mayor Mike Welch announced earlier Thursday that he would be tested later in the day for COVID-19 at Tanana Valley Clinic after he presented symptoms and was asked to come in.

Welch made the announcement during a daily media briefing with Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

“I had some sort of symptoms Sunday night, but they became more manifest on Monday night. That’s the last time I’ve been to work and City Hall was Monday night,” Welch said in an interview later with the Daily News-Miner.

Since then he says he’s been isolated at home and hasn’t been in to work. Welch noted City Hall has been closed to the public since March 17 and that anybody who can is working from home. The Fire Department, Police Department and emergency services are doing daily routes or in their stations, and the Public Works Department is still working to remove ice and snow from the roads, according to Welch.

Welch was en route to drive-thru testing at the clinic as of 3:40 p.m. on Thursday.

“In the meantime I’m to stay home, isolated,” he said, adding that if his symptoms go away, he is supposed to note when they go away and then wait three days before leaving isolation.

At present, his symptoms are varied.

“It’s my throat. It’s my ears. It’s my eyes. It’s a headache. I have no cough and I cannot find that I have a fever; I have the exact opposite, I have a chill,” Welch said.

Welch was getting his test done around 4 p.m. It will take him five to seven days to get results back.

Follow staff writer Kyrie Long at twitter.com/FDNMlocal