Matthews Mayor Pro Tem Spends Nine Days In Hospital With COVID

MATTHEWS, N.C. – COVID cases are on the rise again as doctors say we’re experiencing a “mini-wave” of infections.

Matthews Mayor Pro Tem Ken McCool is back at work, after spending more than a week in the hospital with COVID.

“It just hit me like a ton of bricks. It was, it was unexpected,” McCool says.

He started to feel sick, with allergy-like symptoms on Easter Sunday, before things took a turn for the worse.

“Throughout the night, got more and more sick, started really bad nausea, pain,” McCool explains.

The 24-year-old, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, never expected his symptoms would get so bad.

“I thought, maybe I’d have the sniffles, maybe some cold or flu like symptoms, and be back to work in a week. That’s not how it was. It definitely caught me by surprise,” he says.

While McCool’s case is rare, doctors say it’s proof COVID is still out there.

Statewide, the latest 7-day average shows about 400 people are hospitalized in North Carolina with COVID and around 40 people are in the ICU.

Dr. David Priest, with Novant Health, says we’re experiencing a “mini-wave” right now, with cases increasing.

“These variants are highly contagious, as our collective immunity is selecting out variants that are more easily transmitted,” Priest explains.

While there are fears of a larger wave come this fall, the good news is vaccinations and natural immunity mean there’s less risk of dying.

“Immunity is preventing severe disease in most people,” Priest says.