Niles mayor asks public to heed warnings after testing positive for COVID-19

NILES — Niles mayor Nick Shelton has tested positive for COVID-19.

Shelton posted to his official mayor Facebook page Friday evening announcing that he had received the result from the test he took Wednesday after coming down with symptoms that mimicked a sinus infection.

“After experiencing lightheadedness and a minor throat scratch Monday morning, I began a precautionary quarantine, distancing myself from my wife, children, and everyone else,” he wrote. “My lightheadedness turned into a full-blown sinus headache and body aches by Tuesday, though the scratchy throat dissipated. By Wednesday, the head pressure was so severe that I went to the walk-in clinic for a diagnosis. I took a COVID-19 test, and the Doctor gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and nasal spray, believing that I had a sinus infection. There was no fever.”

Shelton said Wednesday he developed severe back pain to the point that “it hurt to the touch.”

Though he is on the mend, he urged the greater Niles community to heed warnings from health department officials.

“This virus is the real deal,” he wrote. “My symptoms were brutal, but I consider myself lucky that they weren’t worse. Others haven’t fared so well.

”While the symptoms have been rough, it is the time away from my family that has been the worst. My wife has been a trooper, and is holding down the fort (and our three kids!) while I’m on lockdown. Thank you, babe. I miss you!”

The mayor said he has followed precautions from the beginning of the pandemic, he takes full responsibility of his diagnosis.

“I undoubtedly have put myself in positions of risk. As an essential worker and a member of a very large family, I have been in situations where the precautions were not enough,” he wrote. “The virus found a crack in the armor, and snuck right in. That is on me.

“I know and understand that it is my responsibility to limit my exposure to others. I will continue to quarantine, and after quarantine, I will continue to follow the precautions and guidelines (as there isn’t an understanding of the duration of immunity).”

Shelton asked everyone to do their part by avoiding crowds, covering their mouth and nose when around others, washing hands frequently and sanitizing surfaces.

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