UPDATE: This story has been updated with the news of Sen. Deidre Henderson’s positive test.
Utah Sen. Deidre Henderson on Friday tweeted that two of her immediate family members have tested positive for coronavirus and that she’s also starting to experience symptoms of the disease. On Saturday, she received her positive test result.
“No big surprise, my COVID test came back positive. Stay safe out there, everyone. Wear your masks to protect others—by the time you have symptoms you’ve already been contagious for a couple of days and could have unknowingly infected other people.”
The state senator, who joined the Utah Legislature in 2013, is currently the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor on the ticket with the party’s gubernatorial nominee, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.
He posted on Twitter that he was praying for Henderson and her family, adding that he hasn’t seen her in person over the past week. When they are together, both wear masks, he added, “so there is no reason to believe I have been exposed.”
“This virus is relentless,” he wrote. “Please be safe.”
In a statement released to reporters Friday, Henderson said she’ll be resting this weekend and asked for privacy as she’s recovering and caring for her family.
A photo posted July 21 to her Facebook page shows her with her husband at an outdoor arena filled with people. A Senate spokeswoman confirmed that the picture was taken last month at Spanish Fork’s Fiesta Days Rodeo. In Henderson’s photo, she and her companions are wearing face coverings, and rodeo organizers said they followed health guidelines in planning the event, according to the Daily Herald.
Henderson is one of several state lawmakers who have had personal experiences with COVID-19. Sen. Luz Escamilla came down with the disease shortly after the state’s legislative session wrapped up in March. Though she never needed hospitalization, the Salt Lake City Democrat said the illness felt eternal.
Last month, State Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Riverton, said she, her husband and her 16-month-old son had contracted coronavirus and were recovering from home. Senate President Stuart Adams in June said he tested positive for COVID antibodies but never had symptoms, and Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City, says one of his children fell ill several weeks ago.
Utah Rep. Melissa Garff Ballard, R-North Salt Lake, lost her father, former state House Speaker and businessman Bob Garff, to the coronavirus.
A spokeswoman for the Utah Senate said she doesn’t know of any other state lawmakers who have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.