Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee tests positive for COVID

Governor is vaccinated and twice boosted.

Updated: May 25, 2022 - 10:37pm

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Vaccinated and twice boosted Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Inslee, 71, took to Facebook and Twitter Wednesday afternoon to announce his diagnosis and promote vaccines and booster shots against the virus.

“Today I tested positive for COVID-19,” Inslee said on social media. “I have only very mild symptoms, and I'm thankful to be vaccinated and boosted. I hope all eligible Washingtonians consider getting their booster, which is our best tool for preventing serious illness.”

Jaime Smith, the governor’s executive director of communications, provided some more information, and like Inslee, urged people to get vaccination and booster shots.

“Aside from having a slight cough, the governor is feeling well and in typical good spirits,” she said in a statement. “He is working from home and will soon receive antiviral treatments. As we’re seeing, the current COVID variants are extremely contagious and vaccinations remain the most important tool to protecting ourselves against serious illness, hospitalization and death. We hope every eligible Washingtonian takes advantage of these life-saving tools.”

About an hour later, Lt. Gov. Denny Heck announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing “mild but unpleasant symptoms, similar to a bad head cold,” according to a statement put out by his office.

Heck, 69, who is also vaccinated and double-boosted, had previously tested positive in February but experienced no symptoms.

Heck had not been in proximity to Inslee, the Lt. Governor’s Office said in a news release, calling the cases unrelated.

This is not the first time COVID-19 has impacted state government. This year’s legislative session was held mostly in a virtual capacity during a spike in the more transmissible omicron variant of the virus.

On Dec. 17, 2021, 52-year-old state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Lynden, passed away after a battle with COVID-19.

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