Rod Tappe

UPDATE: The Union Board of Aldermen's Monday, Nov. 9, meeting will be available to take part in by Zoom teleconference. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. To watch it, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84193291697.

Union Mayor Rod Tappe is in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

Tappe is doing well and dealing with fever and cough, City Administrator Jonathan Zimmermann said after Thursday’s Union Development Corp. board meeting. The mayor is getting help from his wife, Debra Tappe, a nurse who previously had COVID-19.

Union Police Chief Andrew Parker also is in quarantine. 

“A couple of others are being tested. We might have a couple of staff members go into quarantine,” Assistant City Administrator James Schmieder told the board. 

Before Schmieder spoke, the use of masks by all the board members was a noticeable change from many previous city meetings. In addition, only three people sat on the meeting room dais, with the rest of the board and staff social distanced around the room.

“We’re just tightening up a little bit,” Schmieder said. “We’re not going to close to the public.”

People in city hall are asked to wear masks in common areas for at least the next couple weeks.

“We’re going to try to protect everybody within the buildings as much as we can the next two weeks,” Zimmermann said.

The city also has regular meetings to discuss what it needs to do to deal with the virus, he said.

“Our goal is to protect our workforce,” he said. “It’s an evolving situation, it really is.”

Before the mayor’s positive test was announced, Zimmermann had been asking members of the city’s planning and zoning commission and personnel, finance and public works committee, which is made up of members of the board of aldermen, if they would rather have an option to meet via videoconference. Everyone said they would rather meet in person.

That appears to have changed with the recent news. The board of aldermen's Monday, Nov. 9, meeting will be available to take part in by Zoom teleconference. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. To watch it, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84193291697.

The agenda for the meeting also says CDC social distance regulations will be enforced for those attending in person.

In the first few months of the pandemic, the board of aldermen met either on Zoom or social distanced in the gym at the old city hall. But members have been sitting closer together at meetings since they moved to the new city hall in July.

Mayor Tappe, who has diabetes, had to be isolated from his wife while she dealt with COVID-19. “I sat home with the dog, thinking, ‘Am I going to see my wife again?’ ” the mayor said in July.

Tappe was addressing the pandemic because he had proposed a face mask mandate for Union, which would have required face coverings in many public places in the city, both publically and privately-owned.

After hundreds of mask mandate opponents showed up at a special board of aldermen meeting Monday, July 20, the proposed ordinance died when none of the aldermen made a motion to discuss it. The mayor only votes in case of a tie.

The city has not had any further public discussions on mask mandates since then.