Nashville’s top health official spent much of this week stuck in a hotel room in Ecuador after testing positive for coronavirus at the end of a family vacation.
City Health Director Gill Wright is not seriously ill and is in self isolation as of Thursday night, said Dr. Alex Jahangir, chairman of the Board of Health. Wright is still working and in regular communication with Metro Public Health Department staff by text and email, Jahangir said.
Jahangir said that Wright, who is fully vaccinated and wears a mask frequently, tested negative before flying to Ecuador for a family vacation, but then tested positive as he attempted to return at the end of his vacation. Wright remained in Ecuador to wait out his infection.
“He’s a fully vaccinated guy who wears masks and takes precautions,” Jahangir said. “Everybody has a chance of getting sick.”
Wright, who has risen through the ranks at the health department over the past seven years, was named interim director after former Director Michael Caldwell resigned in December. The Board of Health recently voted to make Wright the permanent director.
His first day in the position, which he spent in isolation, was Wednesday.
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Brett Kelman is the health care reporter for The Tennessean. He can be reached at 615-259-8287 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @brettkelman.