At least two candidates for the Utah House are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 and another is in self-isolation after being exposed.
Candidates Robert Burch, the Democratic challenger for District 30, and Fatima Dirie, the Democratic challenger for District 33, announced their positive tests on social media on Saturday. That was the same day that state Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, announced he has COVID-19. All three began experiencing symptoms Wednesday.
Utah state Rep. Angela Romero, the Democratic incumbent in District 26, meanwhile, has chosen to go into quarantine after spending time with Dirie on Oct. 17. She said she was last tested before attending the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah on Oct. 7. That test came back negative, she said.
“I don’t have any symptoms but have chosen to isolate and will take a COVID test tomorrow,” Romero wrote Sunday in a text to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Burch and McCay indicated in their social media posts that they had initiated contact tracing through the Salt Lake County Health Department. At least one other senator, Kathleen Riebe, D-Cottonwood Heights, has been quarantining at home after being contacted by McCay.
Dirie and Burch questioned how they caught the virus. They stressed they had been diligent in following public health recommendations, such as washing their hands and applying hand sanitizer.
“There are a lot of things to take away with my infection, but the main point I want to articulate is that my situation could happen to anyone,” Dirie wrote in a Twitter post. “I have been very careful in following the protocol set by local, state, and federal health officials, I wear a mask everywhere I go in public and regularly wash my hands. If I can contract COVID-19, anyone can.”
Burch and Dirie live in West Valley City, which is seeing an all-time high in its 14-day moving average of case numbers.
Their announcements came 10 days before the Nov. 3 election.