CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, the wife of Mayor Allan Fung and a Republican candidate for the seat held by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Fenton-Fung, 39, is a physical therapist who has been working at a number of healthcare facilities during the crisis, including Rhode Island Hospital, according to her husband.
“Some of those locations have patients who tested positive for COVID-19,” Fung said.
He said his wife developed a dry cough Monday morning and as a healthcare worker, decided right away to request an appointment at the CVS rapid testing site in Lincoln.
“Out of an abudance of caution, because she’s in the healthcare field, as soon as she had that one symptom, [CDC] is providing that guidance. Go get tested,” Fung said. “And surprise. She ended up being positive.”
So far, Fenton-Fung has mild symptoms and is isolated in the couple’s Cranston home.
Fung does not have symptoms, but said he will self-isolate in the home away from his wife for at least 14-days since he has been in direct contact with her.
“We’re just trying to protect one another as best we can,” Fung said. “It’s difficult. But the best advice is to keep cleaning as much as you can.”
Fung said he and his wife had planned for one of them to isolate in a Newport condominium they own if either one of them caught the virus.
“But we found out at night,” Fung said. “So the plan didn’t work out.”
Fung said he has been in his home office working on his budget address that he will deliver remotely from his home later this week.
He added he is optimistic about his wife’s recovery, and hopeful the state’s coronavirus curve is flattening.
“But we still have to be cautious. This can still strike, and sometimes surprisingly,” Fung said. “You just don’t know when or who. And all of us, if we do our part, we will get back to normalcy in a quicker time-frame”
About a week before the state’s first confirmed COVID-19 case, Fenton-Fung filed her campaign paperwork to run as a Republican in House District 15.
Mattiello was elected to the represent the Western Cranston area in 2006, and rose to House Speaker in 2014 after Gordon Fox resigned from the powerful position during a federal investigation that eventually sent Fox to prison.
As the COVID-19 crisis exploded, Mattiello was facing a number of controversies himself, including a grand jury investigation.