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3 Texas Democrats in Washington, D.C. test positive for COVID-19

CBS News logo CBS News 7/17/2021 Adam Brewster
a view of a city: Building Mugs in Washington DC © (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Building Mugs in Washington DC

Three members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus who are temporarily staying in Washington after leaving the Lone Star State this past week to block passage of a new Republican-backed elections law have tested positive for COVID-19, two people familiar with the situation told CBS News.

The three members of the delegation have all been vaccinated against COVID-19 but tested positive with rapid tests, the people said. One of the members tested positive Friday night and the two others on Saturday. 

The delegation remains at a Washington hotel and has no current plans to leave and return to Texas, where they likely would be arrested and brought to the State Capitol if they return before the end of the current special legislative session on August 7.

Members of the delegation were required to have been vaccinated before making the trip, according to a person familiar with the travel arrangements.

"The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols. This is a sober reminder that COVID is still with us, and though vaccinations offer tremendous protection, we still must take necessary precautions," Texas House Democratic Caucus chairman Chris Turner said in a statement on Friday. "We are in touch with public health experts in Texas to provide additional guidance. Our caucus will follow all recommendations from public health experts as we continue our work."

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Members of the delegation have spent the last week meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris and congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Cory Booker of New Jersey as they try pushing for passage of new federal voting rights legislation. They have also met with Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Spokespeople for Harris didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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