3 Texas Democrats test positive for COVID-19 in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON — Three Texas House Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington, D.C., according to Texas House Democratic Caucus leadership. 

They’re among nearly 60 lawmakers who fled the state Monday to break quorum in the House, part of an effort to block the passage of a GOP-led elections bill. Most members are staying in the same hotel.

One member found out about their positive test result late Friday evening, but they do not have symptoms, caucus officials said. All House lawmakers were alerted and received a rapid test immediately following the member’s positive result.

Two additional members tested positive in a rapid test Saturday morning and one has mild symptoms, the caucus said.

The three who have tested positive on the rapid tests will receive a PCR coronavirus test, a more sensitive and accurate version of a COVID-19 test. The positive members will isolate for 10 days.https://916291b18e62f97e1b6a8a2fbb19168a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The three members are vaccinated. The caucus did not release their names.

More:Can Texas Democrats be forced back to the Austin Capitol? Recent walkouts didn’t result in arrests

There was a notable increase in the use of face coverings among lawmakers and Democratic staffers at their hotel Saturday morning. Since members arrived late Monday, masks have been used sparingly as they moved through the lobby and held meetings around the city.https://916291b18e62f97e1b6a8a2fbb19168a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols,” Rep. Chris Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement. “This is a sober reminder that COVID is still with us, and though vaccinations offer tremendous protection, we still must take necessary precautions. We are in touch with public health experts in Texas to provide additional guidance. Our caucus will follow all recommendations from public health experts as we continue our work.”

FILE - In this Thursday, July 8, 2021 file photo, Texas Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, speaks as the Democratic members of the Texas House gather after a recess in the opening day of a special session in Austin, Texas. Three of the Democratic state lawmakers who fled Texas to stymie a Republican-backed effort to impose broad new voting restrictions have tested positive for COVID-19, the Texas House's Democratic caucus said Saturday, July 17, 2021.

The delta variant, a highly contagious mutation of the coronavirus, has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States. On Thursday, Travis County slid back to tightened restrictions after four cases of the variant were confirmed in the Austin area.

Unvaccinated people remain most at risk of contracting the coronavirus and having a more serious illness. All Texas House Democrats have been vaccinated, the caucus said. 

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