October 21, 2020

Mississippi governor in isolation awaiting COVID-19 test results

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday he is isolating himself after coming into contact with a member of the state House of Representatives who tested positive for coronavirus last week.

In a tweet Monday, Reeves said he received a coronavirus test himself and is awaiting results.

“Best thing for all: if someone you know gets the virus, isolate until your test comes back at least. That’s my plan,” Reeves tweeted. “Stay safe and stay smart.”

Reeves did not say who the lawmaker was that he came into contact with, only that he came into contact with the individual “briefly” last week. Reeves was visibly in close contact last week with House Speaker Philip Gunn during the signing of a bill that removed the Confederate emblem from Mississippi’s state flag. Gunn announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday.

Gunn, a Republican from the Jackson suburb of Clinton, said in a video posted to Facebook on Sunday that he got tested because he had been in close proximity to a member of the House who tested positive. Gunn did not identify the House member.

“I felt like I needed to go get myself tested just because I had been with this person and this morning was informed that I too have tested positive for COVID,” Gunn said. “I feel very fortunate that I don’t really have very many symptoms and feel fine.”

Gunn said he called everyone that he had been in close proximity to recently to let them know of his diagnosis and planned to self-quarantine. He also called on the state’s residents to do the same if they find out they’re infected. “We need to make sure that we do everything we can to get this past us as quickly as possible.”

Gunn is the state’s highest-ranking political figure to publicly disclose a positive test for the coronavirus.

Democratic Rep. Bo Brown, 70, of Jackson was the first lawmaker to announce that he had tested positive for coronavirus. He made the announcement Thursday, a day after legislators left the Mississippi Capitol.