Gay SF Supervisor Dorsey quarantining due to COVID

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Monday July 11, 2022
Share this Post:
San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey, shown riding in the June 26 Pride parade, has tested positive for COVID and is isolating at home. Photo: Rick Gerharter
San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey, shown riding in the June 26 Pride parade, has tested positive for COVID and is isolating at home. Photo: Rick Gerharter

Gay San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey is quarantining at home due to testing positive for COVID over the weekend. He plans to take part in Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting by video and remain at his South of Market apartment throughout the week.

Dorsey told the Bay Area Reporter he had taken an at-home COVID test Friday morning in order to be on hand for the swearing-in ceremony at City Hall of newly appointed District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. As his test result came back negative, Dorsey attended the crowded, indoor event.

By Saturday, he began to feel ill and subsequently tested positive for COVID Sunday, July 10, after again taking an at-home test. He is scheduled to have a telehealth call with his doctor Tuesday to see if he needs to begin taking the oral antiviral pill Paxlovid or another treatment for COVID.

"I am congested and coughing a lot," a nasally sounding Dorsey told the B.A.R. in a phone interview Monday, July 11. "I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and, for now, am getting some rest."

As a person living with HIV, and because of his "hypochondria," he joked, Dorsey said he had made it a practice to routinely test himself for COVID as a health precaution.

"I had been testing daily," he told the B.A.R.

His contracting COVID follows San Francisco Mayor London Breed announcing June 22 that she had tested positive for the virus and would be following all isolation and quarantine protocols as recommended by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Its guidelines call for anyone who tests positive to isolate at home for five days.

It meant that she would have to miss the city's Pride events, with Dorsey subsequently representing her in the parade as he marched with what would have been her contingent. Breed had appointed Dorsey to the vacant District 6 seat on the board in May due to former supervisor Matt Haney's election in April to a state Assembly seat.

While she was out of town from June 30 to July 3, Breed had named Dorsey as the city's acting mayor in her absence.

"I returned the city back to her in one piece," he joked.

The board's other out member, gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, had contracted COVID late last year. As the B.A.R. reported in January, Mandelman tested positive a few days prior to New Year's Eve and self isolated at home for a week as he recovered.

Mandelman, who due to having diabetes had taken precautions to protect his health since the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020, had been notified in late December that he potentially was exposed to someone who had COVID. His infection felt like "a relatively mild cold," as he had told the B.A.R.

He has now turned his focus on the new health crisis sweeping the country, an outbreak of monkeypox cases largely in gay, bisexual, and transgender men. Mandelman will be joining community advocates and other elected leaders at a 12:30 p.m. press conference on the steps of City Hall Tuesday, July 12, to call on the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lead a more aggressive vaccination campaign against the disease for at-risk populations.

Last week, gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) issued a joint statement denouncing federal health officials for "failing to order enough vaccine doses to prepare for this foreseeable outbreak" of monkeypox, as the B.A.R. reported online July 8.

Dorsey had been expected to attend the news conference but will now have to miss it as he recovers from COVID.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.