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“This morning we were made aware that two of the members at that meeting tested positive for COVID-19,” Symone Sanders, a senior advisor to Harris, said in a statement. “Based on the schedule of these positive tests, it was determined that the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with the people who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined . “
Sanders added that Harris and her staff are fully vaccinated.
The latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask or social distance unless required by law, local authority, or business. Fully vaccinated people who may be exposed to the coronavirus do not need to be tested unless they have symptoms, the guidelines say, but should monitor their health for two weeks.
However, the CDC instructions require masks to be worn “on airplanes, buses, trains and other public transport”. Many of the Texas Democrats did not appear to be wearing one on their charter flights to DC, which some Republicans pointed out before they tested positive.
The Texas House Democratic statement did not state which three members tested positive, but all three were fully vaccinated. The cases were first reported by the Austin American Statesman.
“We are in contact with Texas public health experts for additional advice,” said Chris Turner, Democratic chairman of Texas House, in the statement. “Our caucus will follow all recommendations from public health experts as we continue our work.”
State representative Celia Israel, who represents a district in the Austin area, told POLITICO that she had tested positive.
“It feels like I have a cold,” she said in a short telephone interview. Israel added that she was fully vaccinated and would be isolating in her hotel room for at least the next 10 days. She said several members of the delegation brought their food.
In an additional statement, Israel said it took a test on Friday – after being notified that another member of the faction had tested positive – and tested negative, before testing positive afterwards on Saturday.
“Let this be a reminder that COVID-19 is still very much among us, with infection rates rising and more contagious variants spreading nationwide,” she said in the statement, urging unvaccinated people to get an injection. “Most importantly, I hope this case underscores the sacrifices we are prepared to make for the cause of democracy. I wouldn’t change anything to protect the right to vote.”
House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican who railed against the Democrats for leaving the state, wished them that Tested positive for health in a tweet: “Kim and I expand our health and safety prayers for those members of the Texas House Democratic Committee who tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington, DC.”