Lexington County SC Sen. Shealy tests positive for COVID-19


South Carolina Sen. Katrina Shealy said Thursday she and her husband have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The Lexington Republican asked for prayers on her Senate Facebook page, saying that she and her husband are both “experiencing the not so pleasant (effects) of the illness.”

Shealy was not at the State House this week for the Legislature’s final week of session, nor was she at the S.C. GOP’s Silver Elephant dinner in Columbia this month, said a party spokeswoman. Shealy was, however, in session last Tuesday and Wednesday, but told The State she has been quarantining at home since.

“I’m still working hard to provide our district and state with constant constituent service, albeit now and for the next couple of weeks from my living room!” Shealy wrote on Facebook, asking her Senate District 23 constituents to call her office for immediate needs.

Shealy told The State she is quarantining at home.

“I don’t feel good. I’m not OK,” she said. “I’m just tired.”

A handful of South Carolina lawmakers have contracted the respiratory disease, though not all have been publicly shared.

State Reps. Kambrell Garvin, D-Richland; Nancy Mace, R-Charleston; and Phillip Lowe, R-Florence, each announced through press release or local newspaper their diagnosis. Others, including Shealy, have posted to their social media accounts.

On Thursday, House Rep. Brandon Newton, R-Lancaster, posted to his Facebook page that his wife had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and he was experiencing virus-related symptoms.

“We are currently self quarantining at home for the next little while,” Newton said. “Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time.”

Legislators wrapped up their work for the year this week, going back home to their districts where many face challengers on Nov. 3. But despite urging from House and Senate leaders, not every lawmaker wore masks as medical research shows that masks drastically reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

In South Carolina, the state’s public health agency has reported nearly 140,000 positive cases since March.

More than 3,000 South Carolinians have died as a result of the disease.

Health officials have stressed that people who regularly interact with others should be regularly tested at least once a month. This month, it was announced that a federally-funded program to ramp up COVID-19 testing was coming to Columbia.

“It’s critically important that we not have a bad flu season on top of a bad COVID season because it could overwhelm our health care systems and it will confuse our ability to screen for COVID,” said the U.S. General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams last weekend.

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Maayan Schechter (My-yahn Schek-ter) has covered the S.C. State House and politics for The State since 2017. She grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and graduated from the University of North Carolina-Asheville in 2013. She previously worked at the Aiken Standard and the Greenville News. She has won reporting awards in South Carolina.
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