After spending 6 days in the hospital, Madera Mayor cautions public to take COVID-19 seriously

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MADERA, California (KSEE) — Madera Mayor Santos Garcia is warning the community to take the pandemic and local regulations after spending around a week in the hospital with COVID-19.

Santos said he contracted the virus earlier this month, but insists he does not know how he got it.

“I wash my hands frequently I practice social distancing and even with all of that I still contracted it somehow,” said Garcia.

Garcia said he said flu-like symptoms that worsened after three days. Once his oxygen dropped he had to be admitted to Kaiser Permanente in Fresno.

“I have had malaria before,” he said. “This was similar to malaria as I was traveling to Central America. This was debilitating.”

Garcia spent a total of six days in the hospital. He said he received oxygen, plasma antibodies, and the anti-viral medication Remdesivir.

“The staff at Kaiser Permanente did an excellent job,” said Garcia. “They took care of me, they made sure I was comfortable getting the medication, they did constant tests, and really believe that they saved my life. I really do believe that.”

Garcia said his wife also contracted COVID-19 but had mild symptoms. Garcia said he wants to share his story as a reminder to the public to follow COVID-19 protocols and to take the vaccination when it is available.

“Please practice what we have been told to, wash your hands, etc,” said Garcia. “Please take the vaccine when it is your turn. We don’t have to have fear, we just have to be careful and understand that this is not over. The pandemic is not over.”

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