JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Multiple COVID-19 cases at the State Capitol are now under investigation by the State Department of Health. Some lawmakers have tested positive and others are sick and awaiting test results.
Lawmakers returned to the Capitol Monday... not for passing more laws but rather to see if they would pass the COVID-19 test. The most public announcement of a positive diagnosis coming from Speaker Philip Gunn Sunday.
Although the exact number of House members that have tested positive isn’t known, their colleagues hear the number’s growing.
“I’ve been told we have over ten House members that have tested positive,” said Rep. Tom Miles.
Rep. Tom Miles was among those who went for a test Monday.
“It’s a scary thing for me personally because earlier in the year I lost my mom to COVID,” explained Miles. “It’s a good reminder that this thing is not over with. It’s another reality check to all of us in Mississippi, even legislators can catch this thing.”
Rep. Chris Bell says masks were encouraged while they were there hammering out the state budget and changing the state flag but not everyone was wearing them.
“We had an opportunity to show the world that we were taking this virus seriously but wearing masks,” noted Bell. “What happened is everyone got comfortable. Everybody got lax.”
Governor Tate Reeves has also gotten a coronavirus test.
“And so we believe that it was smart to self-isolate,” said Reeves in a Facebook live video. “We believe it was smart to go to the doctor and get a test.”
Video shows Reeves and Gunn shaking hands after the Governor signed the bill to change the state flag last Tuesday.
Some lawmakers saying they’re hopeful this outbreak can serve as a reminder.
“This virus has no determination whether you’re Democrat or Republican, black and white, purple, red or yellow. It’s affecting everyone,” added Rep. Bell.