Essex Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura tests positive for COVID-19

Essex County Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, who also serves as a commissioner on the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, has tested positive for COVID-19.

In an emotional interview with NJTV, Fontoura told the public television station he wasn’t feeling well late last week and he was tested over the weekend at Weequahic Park in Newark.

Holding back tears, he says he wants to get better so he can be with his department in their battle against the virus.

“Monday morning, they notified me that I was positive,” Fontoura told NJTV. “And so, I am down — I feel terrible. I want to be out there with my people. But hopefully, I’ll be out there soon. I’m not looking for sympathy. I just want the public to understand we are certainly available like everyone else is. If not more so.”

When asked by a reporter how he was feeling (physically), Fontoura, 76, said, “I’m OK. I talked to my doctor. There are some things I have to do. I have to self-monitor. It’s not that severe. He (the doctor) thinks I have one of the mild cases.  The fact (is) that I am in reasonably good health for my age. As you know, I am a jogger — I jog every day, so I keep in shape. I stay healthy and have good genes. And hopefully, it will help me to get through this.”

Fontoura also noted his wife, Mary, has some health concerns of her own — unrelated to the Coronavirus — so his diagnosis will require the couple “to be apart.” He is recovering at home, in Fairfield, according to the report, and is being kept in a separate room from the rest of his family. He says his daughter is ensuring he’s masked, gloved and protected every time he has to come out of the room.

The sheriff says he’s taking a regimen of meds that includes the Z-Pak and a malaria-related drug — and he began to do so today.

He’ll be on the medications for at least five days, he says.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.