6 Texas House Democrats test positive for COVID-19 in D.C.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021
6 Texas House Democrats test positive for COVID-19 in DC
Another lawmaker brings the total number of Texas Democrats with the virus to six.

WASHINGTON D.C. -- One additional Texas House Democrat has tested positive for COVID-19 while in Washington D.C.

ABC News confirmed a sixth fully vaccinated member tested positive for the virus after receiving conflicting test results Monday morning. 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.

Texas Representative Trey Martinez Fischer said he tested positive on Sunday, despite getting two negative tests on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday's report: Although fully vaccinated, a total of three Texas House Democrats have tested positive. Right now, they ask for privacy as they work to recover from the virus.

"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 other representative who tested positive on Sunday has yet to be identified.

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

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

By Saturday morning, two other members had tested positive.

ABC13 spoke with State Representative Celia Israel, who confirmed she was one of the five Democrats that tested positive. The other three lawmakers have not released their identities.

Texas Rep. Celia Israel said she started feeling COVID-related symptoms in her D.C. hotel room on Friday night. She said her heart sunk after the test she took on Saturday morning came back positive.

All of them are now in isolation.

Other members of the caucus tested negative for the virus after taking the rapid COVID-19 tests.

A spokesperson told ABC13 that COVID test were available because those traveling from Austin brought testing kits with them, and then purchased more tests in D.C. in order to maintain daily 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."

As for the members who tested negative, they will undergo daily COVID tests.

Vice President Kamala Harris' office released a statement that read:

"On Tuesday, July 13th, Vice President Harris met with members of the Texas state legislature who are temporarily in Washington, D.C. Earlier today, it was brought to our attention that two of the members at that meeting tested positive for COVID-19. Based on the timeline of these positive tests, it was determined the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined. The Vice President and her staff are fully vaccinated."

Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan expressed his condolences in a tweet Saturday afternoon.

"Kim and I extend our prayers for safety and health for the members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus who tested positive for COVID-19 while in Washington, D.C.," the tweet read.

The voting rights conference that was planned for next week will now be virtual.

SEE RELATED STORY: Vaccinated people can still contract COVID, and here's how it can happen

The Democratic Caucus has asked others to respect the privacy of the members who have been affected.

The video above is from a previous story.