Three Nevada legislators say they tested positive for COVID-19

Three Nevada lawmakers confirmed Thursday they tested positive for COVID-19.

State Sen. Pat Spearman, Assemblyman Howard Watts III and Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen each described their diagnoses and symptoms on Twitter, reminding people to commit to wearing masks and adhering to Nevada's prevention measures.

Spearman, 65, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal she was feeling better after being hospitalized last week.

"People who are saying it's political have no idea what it's like to be gasping for air," she told the newspaper.

Nguyen, who works as an attorney when not in the Legislature, said her entire household had contracted the virus. The 43-year-old Democrat said she felt exhausted and believed she caught the virus while working in-person in a courthouse.

Watts, 33, implored Nevada residents to commit to wearing masks and following state guidelines. He said he tested positive on Thursday.

"If you let your guard down even a little (I did) it is so easy to catch it, especially now. I'm glad that I've stayed in so much there's almost no chance I've infected others," Watts wrote on Twitter.

All three lawmakers are Democrats from the Las Vegas area.

The Legislature is scheduled to convene in Carson City on Feb. 1 to address the virus, the state budget and other issues, but has not announced any coronavirus-related plans.

During the summer, lawmakers met for two emergency special sessions, during which one unnamed lawmaker and her husband tested positive for the virus.

Nevada's positivity rate is currently the second-highest in the U.S., according to a Dec. 27 White House Task Force report. State officials reported Thursday that the rate, measured as a 14-day rolling average, was 20.7%. In other states, legislatures have postponed proceedings amid surges.

Sam Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.


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