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6th Texas House Democrat tests positive for Covid in D.C.

Texas House Democrats who left the state to stop Republicans from taking up elections bills during the special session.
Shuran Huang/The Texas Tribune
Texas House Democrats who left the state to stop Republicans from taking up elections bills during the special session.

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- One additional Texas House Democrat has now tested positive for Covid-19 while in the nation's capital.

Nearly 60 lawmakers are in Washington after fleeing the state to break quorum in the Texas House, in an effort to block GOP-backed election reform bills in the special legislative session. Most of those representatives are staying together in the same hotel.

ABC News confirmed a sixth fully-vaccinated member tested positive for the virus after receiving conflicting test results earlier Monday. The member, who was not identified, had tested negative over the weekend.

The members are expecting to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid testing on Tuesday and should receive more concrete results about the group's status by Thursday.

Officials said the five initial Texas House Democrats who got the virus were all fully-vaccinated but still tested positive after traveling from Austin.

Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio identified himself as one of those who tested positive. He said he tested positive on Sunday, despite previously getting two negative tests on Friday and Saturday.

"I am quarantining until I test negative," Martinez Fischer said. "And I am grateful to be only experiencing extremely mild symptoms. I am grateful for the encouragement and prayers of my colleagues and all of those across Texas and the country who support our cause. Let's keep pushing to ensure everyone is vaccinated and tackle this virus."

The first member of the group tested positive on Friday night and immediately informed the caucus, according to representatives from the organization.

Rep. Celia Israel of Austin confirmed she was also one of those that tested positive. The other lawmakers have not released their identities, but all of them are in isolation.

"After given notice Friday evening that a colleague tested positive for Covid-19, I and my colleagues immediately took rapid antigen tests," she said in a statement. "While I tested negative, a subsequent test Saturday morning revealed I was now Covid positive. Let this be a reminder that Covid-19 is still very much among us, with infection rates on the rise and more contagious variants spreading nationwide. While I am fully vaccinated, this will not 100% prevent infection."

Israel said she was experiencing only mild symptoms and hoped to get over the infection quickly.

A Democratic caucus spokesperson told ABC affiliate KTRK that aside from the six, other members of the caucus all tested negative for the virus after taking rapid Covid-19 tests; they will all continue to undergo daily Covid testing.

"The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols. This is a sober reminder that Covid is still with us, and though vaccinations offer tremendous protection, we still must take necessary precautions," Chris Turner, the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, said in a statement. "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."

Coronavirus / News / Politics / Texas / Top Stories

ABC News

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10 Comments

  1. Definitely a super spreader event now. Axios: “A White House official and a Pelosi staffer have tested positive for COVID-19 after meeting with Texas Dems.”

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