State Watch

Ohio election chief tests positive for COVID-19

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday in a breakthrough case of the virus, spokesman Rob Nichols confirmed on Tuesday.

“Fortunately, I feel fine,” LaRose, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, said in a statement. “I even went on a 6.5 mile run on Sunday evening, but after continuing to experience some very mild symptoms, I figured it was best to take a test and be sure.”

Nichols noted that LaRose had tested positive on Monday after taking a rapid test. All of the secretary of state’s scheduled public events for the week were postponed and all close contacts around him were informed, Nichols added.

On Saturday, LaRose met with members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission over the state’s new legislative maps, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Commission members include Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D).

DeWine was not a close contact to LaRose, DeWine spokesperson Dan Tierney said in a statement.

During the meeting “they were seated at opposite ends of the House Finance Hearing Room, about 30 feet from each other, both facing the audience, not each other,” Tierney added.

The Associated Press noted that LaRose, DeWine and Russo are all fully vaccinated and received booster shots.

Ohio House Democratic spokeswoman Maya Majikas told The Columbus Dispatch that Russo “will follow current CDC guidance for close exposure.”

“This includes wearing a mask for 10 days and monitoring closely for any symptoms. She has instructed staff to follow House policy for COVID-19 exposure,” Majikas said.

The Hill has reached out to Russo for comment. 

Tags Allison Russo COVID-19 COVID-19 breakthrough cases Frank LaRose Mike DeWine Ohio

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