Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann recovers from coronavirus


Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann poses for a portrait at River Park Community Center in Naples on Thursday, October 22, 2020. (Photo: Alex Driehaus/Naples Daily News/USA TODAY – FLORIDA NETWORK)

Less than a month after testing positive for coronavirus, Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann said her health has recovered. 

Heitmann said she tested negative for the virus on Oct. 19, two weeks after testing positive. She returned to in-person public meetings at Naples City Hall last week. 

“I think I feel great because I’m just thankful that I had what I thought was a mild version,” she said in a phone interview with the Naples Daily News. 

Heitmann quarantined in her home in Naples beginning Oct. 1 after her daughter tested positive for coronavirus. She initially tested negative for COVID-19 on Oct. 1, but then tested positive on Oct. 5, according to the city.

More: Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann tests positive for COVID-19

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Two city employees who were in close proximity to the mayor tested negative for the virus on both Oct. 1 and Oct. 5, according to a city news release.

City staff performed contact tracing and sent 10 employees for rapid-testing on Oct. 6. All 10 employees tested negative, according to the city. 

The mayor said she experienced mild symptoms of the virus. She was not hospitalized, she said. 

Heitmann continued to work on city business while in quarantine, including attending the Oct. 7 Naples City Council meeting via video conference.

“I still worked and was able to rest in between,” she said. 

Heitmann said it is important for the community to “get back to our normal lives,” but she said she doesn’t want people to become “complacent” as winter approaches and seasonal residents return to the area. 

On Monday, the Florida Department of Health reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 in Collier County for a total of 14,135 overall cases. 

More: Naples City Council does not opt into Collier County mask mandate

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City of Naples seal (Photo: File)

After the Naples City Council earlier this summer decided not to opt into the county’s mask mandate, the city partnered with NCH Healthcare System on a public information campaign to encourage mask-wearing and other healthy practices to fight the coronavirus. 

Heitmann and NCH Healthcare System CEO Paul Hiltz provided masks to staff at the River Park Community Center last Thursday. 

“My biggest stress or important message to the community is, not everybody wants to wear a mask, but out of respect to others when you’re in public, then you should be respectful and wear a mask for good health,” she said. 

Heitmann said she has appreciated the positive messages she received over the past month about her health. 

“I have received nothing but kind well-wishes from the community. That helps with any healing process and boosts up your energy levels,” she said. 

Brittany Carloni is the city of Naples reporter at the Naples Daily News. Support her work by subscribing to our local news organization. Find her on Twitter as @CarloniBrittany.

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