A McComb lawmaker is one of several Capitol officials, including Mississippi’s House speaker and lieutenant governor, who have tested positive for COVID-19 after an outbreak in the statehouse in the closing days of the virus-delayed legislative session last week.
Rep. Sam Mims V, R-McComb, said Tuesday that he tested positive for the virus.
“Like several of my colleagues in the House of Representatives, I have also tested positive for COVID-19,” he said. “Presently, I have no symptoms and am strictly following the guidelines of the state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, by being quarantined at my residence, along with my family.
“Please join me and my family as we continue to pray for God to provide us with strength and guidance during this pandemic. May He continue to bless us with His mercy and grace.”
House Speaker Phillip Gunn announced Monday that he had tested positive for the virus, and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann confirmed he was infected on Tuesday.
Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday that his test results came back negative.
Mims, who is the House Public Health and Human Services Committee chairman, said he wore a mask at all times unless he was presenting a bill to the chamber.
Rep. Bill Pigott, R-Tylertown, is in quarantine at his home until his test results come in, which he expected to happen today.
“Most people wore a mask while they were in the chamber. Nearly everyone put one on when they came into the Capitol,” he said, noting that he wore a mask unless he was speaking. “I wish we could have gotten out early before it broke out, but we didn’t.”
Pigott said that he has spoken to several members of the House who tested positive and noted that it was close to impossible to stay socially distanced while in the chamber.
Rep. Vince Mangold, R-Brookhaven, said he was aware of Gunn and Hoseman’s positive diagnosis, but he has not gotten tested, adding “when I get time I’ll get tested.” Mangold also said he sometimes wore a mask while in the House.
Sen. Tammy Witherspoon, D-Magnolia, said she already passed one COVIID-19 test she underwent a week ago and plans to get tested again following the Capitol outbreak.
Witherspoon said she wore a mask at all times while she was at the Capitol.
Rep Daryl Porter Jr. D-Summit said he had planned to hold a town hall meeting last Thursday until one of the panelists called to tell him they tested positive.
Porter said he wore a mask at all times, but knew he came into contact with the representative who tested positive, so he canceled the meeting and went to get tested and quarantined himself.
“I just got my test results back today which came back negative,” he said. “I am grateful I have not contracted the virus, but, of course, I am in prayer for those who have contracted the virus.”
Porter said the capital is closed for two weeks, and will get a deep cleaning
Rep. Angela Cockerham, I-Magnolia, and Sen. Melanie Sojourner, R-Natchez, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.