WASHINGTON – Three Texas House Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington, DC, according to Texas House Democratic Caucus leadership.
They are among nearly 60 lawmakers who fled the state on Monday to break the quorum in the House, part of the GOP-led effort to pass the election bill. Most of the members are staying in the same hotel.
Caucus officials said one member came to know about his positive test result late Friday evening, but he is not showing symptoms. Immediately after the member’s positive result, all the MPs of the House were alerted and they were subjected to rapid tests.
The caucus said two additional members tested positive in a rapid test on Saturday morning and one has mild symptoms.
All three who test positive in rapid tests will receive a PCR coronavirus test, a more sensitive and accurate version of a COVID-19 test. Positive members will be isolated for 10 days.
Three members are vaccinated. The caucus did not release their names.
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There was a significant increase in the use of face coverings among lawmakers and Democratic staff at his hotel on Saturday morning. Since members arrived late on Monday, there was less use of masks as they passed through lobbies and held meetings around the city.
Representative Chris Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement, “The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols. It is a sober reminder that COVID is still with us, and although vaccination provides tremendous protection . , we must still take the necessary precautions. We are in contact with public health experts in Texas to provide additional guidance. Our caucus will follow all recommendations of public health experts as we continue our work.
The delta variant, a highly contagious mutation of the coronavirus, has become the major strain of COVID-19 in the United States. Travis County returned to tighter restrictions on Thursday after four cases of the variant were confirmed in the Austin area.
Uninfected people are at the highest risk of contracting the coronavirus and getting more serious illness. All Texas House Democrats have been vaccinated, the caucus said.
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Austin’s Representative Donna Howard is a former critical care nurse and consulted with a public health doctor to determine safety protocols for Democrats on the ground in Washington.
She said lawmakers have followed CDC guidelines during their travel – which state that fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks or practice social distancing unless required by law or private regulation – And they continue to follow public health guidelines now that three positive cases have come within their ranks.
Howard said in an interview, “We’re following CDC guidelines and what we’re seeing from this is that, as we’ve been told, the delta version is more contagious, and can actually infect people who are not completely Vaccinated from.” “The good news is that you shouldn’t have a problem, even if you test positive, even if you’ve been vaccinated. It also reminds us why it’s so important that everyone gets vaccinated.”
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As of July 14, Washington had an average daily case rate of 3.75 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, and the city remained in the lowest stage of the spread, according to the city’s coronavirus tracker.
Texas Democrats this week met with Capitol Hill Democrats, including US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Vice President Kamala Harris also met him on Tuesday.
Texas lawmakers settled several positive COVID-19 cases during regular session at the Capitol. The first COVID-19 positive case came three days after it was called by the Legislature, when Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont. Tested positive on day three.