JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland said he is back home as of Sunday morning after being hospitalized with COVID-19.
His wife, Beverly, is still hospitalized at Mayo Clinic with COVID-19, Holland confirmed to News4Jax.
Holland said his wife is not doing as well and is currently on 60 liters of oxygen.
“Keep us in your prayers,” he said via text message.
Holland said he wasn’t feeling well enough to speak further but confirmed a report from The Florida Times-Union in which he said he and Beverly had been at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville since Monday.
Holland told the Times-Union neither he nor his wife have needed a ventilator.
Neither of them had been vaccinated, Holland told the Times-Union, but “I wish we had been.”
Holland confirmed to News4Jax that his 39-year-old son also tested positive for the virus but is recovering at home and has not been hospitalized.
According to the Times-Union report, Holland said he is among seven employees of the Property Appraiser’s Office to become sick with the virus.
Holland is the latest Jacksonville elected official to report being hospitalized with COVID-19.
Councilman Sam Newby tested positive and was hospitalized with COVID-19 last year. He said he’s praying for Holland and his family.
“I can tell you, it was two times when I was in the hospital that I thought I was gonna die. That’s, that’s how bad it was,” Newby said. “I lost 19 pounds in four days. And this is a serious, serious virus. And I just want people just to get vaccinated, and also wear their masks.”
While encouraging all eligible Jacksonville residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible, Mayor Lenny Curry has said he doesn’t plan to mandate vaccinations for anyone, including the city’s 8,000 employees.
In a tweet to Curry, News4Jax asked if he would reconsider requiring masks inside city buildings, following the spread in Holland’s office. News4Jax received an email response, saying, as of Friday, “17 city employees are positive for COVID-19. We continue to encourage our employees to get the vaccine. Data shows that nearly all of those in need of treatment at our local hospitals are unvaccinated. The vaccine is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19.”
The statement did not directly address masks. In a press conference earlier this week, Curry said there’s little data on how effective this is unless it’s a properly fitted mask, like an N-95, that’s not meant to be worn for long periods of time.
“I’m not discouraging wearing masks if people want to wear masks, businesses want to require it, they should do that, and people should honor and respect that,” Curry said. “If people get vaccinated, we won’t be in this situation.”
Newby agrees with the mayor. He was hospitalized with COVID-19 last year and wants his colleagues to take it seriously.
“I sent an email out Thursday, encouraging everyone on the City Council to get vaccinated, and to wear the mask while they’re in the hallways, and then City Council,” Newby said. “I mean, you know, I can’t mandate, but I encourage it.”
Some major employers and small businesses have required masks for employees.