Three “fully vaccinated” members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus (HDC) have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement issued today by the caucus.
The first positive test result surfaced on Friday night when a member told the state’s caucus that they had contracted the coronavirus. Two additional members reported positive test results on Saturday. The names are not being released at this time.
The statement reads in part:
“Friday night, a Member of the Texas House Democratic Caucus tested positive for COVID. The Member, who is fully vaccinated, immediately informed the caucus. Caucus Members and staff took a rapid test, all of which were negative. The caucus also consulted current CDC guidance, which says that fully vaccinated people who had been exposed to someone who tested positive do not need to take any additional precautions unless they are showing symptoms.
Saturday morning, two additional Members, each of whom are also fully vaccinated, tested positive on a rapid test.
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. 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.”
According to NBC News, some members of the delegation had meetings earlier this week with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia. NBC reported it is unclear whether or not any members who tested positive for the virus attended the meetings.
According to the CDC, although it is rare, the risk of vaccinated people becoming infected with COVID-19 still can happen. The cases are called breakthrough infections and the symptoms are mild. Dr. Sunil Sood, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, said that nasal congestion and mild body aches are the most serious of symptoms.
“In the post-vaccine era, testing Covid-positive is a lot less scary,” Dr. Cioe-Peña told The New York Times, adding, that for “the vast majority of people — 99.9 percent of the time — I am going to be OK. I am going to have a mild case. I may not even notice.”
Texas has waged a highly public battle against masks and other pandemic protocols in recent months, sparking what the Texas Tribune called a “coronovirus culture war” that has included shouting battles in retail stores and anti-mask rallies.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to lift the mask mandate in the state on March 3.
Read the full HDC statement here.