OLYMPIA, Wash. — House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox, of Yelm, Thurston County, is the first Washington lawmaker known to have tested positive for COVID-19, posting on Facebook this week that he has completed a self-isolation period and is “feeling great now.”
In his Tuesday post, Wilcox wrote that he decided to get tested after developing a cough in early August, later followed by temperature spikes in the afternoons.
“I never felt in danger although on a couple of occasions my sinuses swelled rapidly and I got a little short of breath,” he wrote. “Being isolated at my house on the farm isn’t miserable. I have no idea where I got it, I wasn’t off the farm much.”
Lawmakers haven’t been at the Capitol since they adjourned in March. Any meetings have been held remotely, and it’s unclear what the 105-legislative session will look like when it convenes in January.
As of Thursday, there have been 65,339 confirmed cases in Washington since the pandemic began, and more than 1,736 people have died.
For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
At least 105 lawmakers in 30 states are known to have contracted the coronavirus, according to a tally by The Associated Press.