PEARL, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's top emergency manager is hospitalized because of COVID-19 complications.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said in a statement Sunday that Director Greg Michel has been admitted to a hospital with pneumonia, a complication from is infection with COVID-19.

Michel tested positive for the coronavirus on Dec. 9.

Spokesperson Malary White said the agency continues to “operate as usual while taking every precaution necessary to protect our staff.”

White described Michel as remaining “in good spirits.”

Michel was named to lead the agency by Gov. Phil Bryant in 2018 after then-director Lee Smithson resigned. Gov Tate Reeves, a Republican like Bryant, retained Michel.

Michel is a retired colonel who commanded Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg from 2015 to 2017.