Tennessee senator tests positive for COVID-19 during session

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee state senator said Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the start of this year’s legislative work.

Republican Sen. Ed Jackson said he learned Wednesday afternoon that he had tested positive and is quarantining at home with mild symptoms.

"I have received excellent care and am thankful for all of our health professionals who are on the front lines in fighting this virus,” the lawmaker from Jackson said.

The GOP supermajority Legislature started its annual session in person last week and kicked off an education-focused special session Tuesday. Jackson was on hand during the Tuesday afternoon floor session but was not there for the Wednesday morning floor session.

Director of Legislative Administration Connie Ridley says her office does confidential contact tracing and notification, with instructions on quarantining and direction for COVID-19 positive people on how to isolate.

The number of COVID-19 positive cases among staff and lawmakers has topped 30. That was the number of people who had tested positive at some point since May as of Dec. 10, Ridley has said.

Masks are not required for lawmakers inside the Capitol and legislative buildings, but staffers and aides must wear them.