Wyoming Senate president tests positive for COVID-19

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Senate President Drew Perkins has announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 after he was heard coughing on screen during a remote committee meeting.

The Republican lawmaker was coughing while asking a question during the meeting Monday with the Select Committee on Capital Financing and Investments, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

“Still struggling from COVID from my basement,” Perkins told committee members after asking the question.

Perkins becomes the third Wyoming state lawmaker whose COVID-19 diagnosis has been made public.

Casper Republican Sen. Jim Anderson announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year. Gillette Republican Rep. Roy Edwards died earlier this month after contracting the virus.

The coronavirus has already had a significant impact on the state government’s ability to function following government building closures in Cheyenne for deep cleanings after workplace exposures, officials said.

State lawmakers are still considering whether to wait until spring to host the 2021 legislative session because of fears over spreading the virus. Legislative Service Office Director Matt Obrecht said a final decision is expected later this month.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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