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“Eye-opening experience”: Farmville mayor says COVID-19 diagnosis prompts others to get tested

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 9:48 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2020 at 12:45 PM EST
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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina mayor who contracted COVID-19 is speaking out saying it’s been a wake-up call for those that know him.

Farmville Mayor John Moore, who tested positive for the virus on Monday, says that word of his diagnosis on WITN prompted people he knows to get checked out.

“Putting the story out there that somebody they actually knew, like myself, had COVID-19. It was an eye-opening experience for me. And people around me, they’re going, “this thing is real.” And from different counties, and different parts of the state people that saw your newscast with somebody they knew speaking of the virus, they said you know, “I probably need to go test.”

As a result, Moore says that three people he knows have tested positive and a fourth is waiting for their test results to come back. Moore says they did not catch it from him.

With the state logging a record 5,600 cases of the virus on Thursday, we asked Moore if there’s anything he wants his citizens to know heading into the holidays.

“I would like for the people in Eastern North Carolina to have this understanding. And I think they do now because when they would see it on TV or hear it on radio or read about it, it was not somebody they knew,” Moore said, “They know me. They’ve known me for 48 years on radio and television – they’ve seen me out and about. This is somebody they know. And all of a sudden when it’s somebody you know and somebody you can speak to and somebody you can talk to the light comes on. And that message alone, “it can happen to him who I know, it can happen to me, I’m going to go get tested. I am not going to live in denial, I am going to know one way or the other.”

Moore says that he feels great but that he is continuing to experience taste loss.

“The first thing that goes is the taste and the smell from what I understand. And that’s something you no longer can think it’s a sinus attack like I did because that’s exactly what I thought it was. So, when you get that symptom you need to go get tested right then,” Moore advised.

The mayor did not know where he may have contracted the virus.

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The mayor of Farmville has tested positive for COVID-19.

Mayor John Moore confirmed the diagnosis to WITN Tuesday morning. Moore says he lost his sense of taste and smell, but is not experiencing any other symptoms.

Moore has been in quarantine since he was tested on Saturday. His results came back positive on Monday.

Some employees discovered the mayor’s diagnosis through WITN’s reporting.

Town Manager David Hodkins told us that they did not tell employees.

Hodgkins says he believes the mayor was last at town hall on November 23rd and that he was not interacting closely with employees.

They will continue to maintain their current COVID-19 precautions, Hodgkins says.

Moore says he is currently working from home and called in to the town meeting Monday night.

Moore is the second mayor in Eastern Carolina to test positive for COVID-19. Washington Mayor Mac Hodges passed away from the virus earlier this year.

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