Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced Monday that he is awaiting a coronavirus test after “many” members of the State House of Representatives tested positive for COVID-19 during the week weekend.
Reeves, a Republican, announced on Twitter that he was taking the precautionary measure after being in contact with one of the House members who tested positive – although the governor said he had never met that “briefly” the state legislator.
“I’m waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test,” Reeves tweeted. “It appears that many members of the Mississippi household have confirmed they contracted the virus last week – including only one with whom I have had brief contact.”
Reeves did not name the member of the House with whom he was in contact, nor did he indicate which members of the state legislature had confirmed cases, but House Speaker Philip Gunn said said Sunday it had tested positive for coronavirus the same day as the state’s health. authorities have reported more than 200 new infections and five deaths related to the pandemic.
Gunn, a Republican from Jackson’s Clinton suburb, said in a Facebook video that he had been tested because he had been near another member of the House who had tested positive.
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Gunn said he had called everyone he had recently met nearby to let him know about his diagnosis and that he planned to self-quarantine. He also called on state residents to do the same if they find out they are infected: “We need to make sure that we do everything we can to get us through as quickly as possible. ”
Gunn is the highest political figure in the state to publicly disclose a positive coronavirus test. He did not identify the other member of the House.
The legislature is now in session but has met several days a week in the past month. While some legislators or others on the Capitol wore masks, many others did not wear them very close to the floor of the House and the Senate and in committee rooms.
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The Mississippi Department of Health released its latest coronavirus statistics on Sunday. The state has registered 226 new cases as of Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed and probable infections to 30,900 across the state. Five other people also died from COVID-19. The deaths occurred in the counties of Harrison, Hinds, Lawrence, Lowndes and Walthall.
Another legislator has also reported positive tests for the virus. Democratic representative Bo Brown of Jackson told Clarion Ledger on Thursday that he had received a positive test result for COVID-19. Brown, 70, told the Ledger that he had taken a test about a week earlier because he was feeling a bit unstable and weak.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.