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Monday, September 6, 2021

Marion County Commissioner in quarantine as husband fights COVID-19, says 90% of COVID-19 patients at hospitals are unvaccinated

A Marion County Commissioner is urging the public to get the vaccine, saying 90% of COVID-19 patients at local hospitals are unvaccinated.

Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant, who represents District 2, says her husband tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, July 31. Bryant was absent from the Tuesday, August 3 meeting of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and said she will quarantine through next week.

Bryant took to social media this week to speak on her experience. Like fellow Marion County Commissioner Craig Curry, she implored the public to get vaccinated. 

“Today’s tragic news of the loss of a dear friend due to complications from COVID have really hit home for me,” said Bryant in a Facebook post. 

According to the commissioner, Marion County hospitals currently have 210 COVID patients. Out of those patients, Bryant says “90 percent are unvaccinated.” She says the 28 people in the intensive care unit at Ocala Health with COVID-related cases are all unvaccinated. 

“This is no longer a serious illness just targeting older adults, but now, people of all ages. We should all listen to the many, many healthcare providers who will tell you to get vaccinated. Stop relying on social media and the news for medical advice,” said Bryant in the Facebook post. 

“The numbers don’t lie when it comes to the protection of the vaccine. This is not, nor should it have ever been made a political issue,” said Bryant, who urges residents to speak with medical providers. 

“This is a global pandemic and right now it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. If we ever want this pandemic to end, we have to start listening to our medical professionals. During prior pandemics, medical professionals have had far less information to go on but the people trusted in medicine, did the right thing, and our country moved on,” said Bryant.

“I think it’s time we do the same. I know you may be scared, I was too, but at the end of the day I knew it was the right thing to do,” said Bryant. 

The Florida Department of Health says that in recent weeks, increasing numbers of Marion County residents have sought out the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The department began COVID-19 testing again this week at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion. 

Currently, there are multiple vaccination sites across the county offering vaccines. 

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Marion County website.