State Senate leader tests positive for COVID-19

Mike Dugan

ATLANTA — State Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan announced on social media he received a positive test result for COVID-19.

General Assembly members are required to be tested twice weekly during the session as part of efforts to avoid a possible outbreak under the Gold Dome. House and Senate members are also required to wear masks in the chambers.

“My symptoms are minor and I plan to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and isolate at home until the virus passes,” the Carrollton Republican said in a statement.

Dugan said he received his result prior to noticing any noteworthy symptoms.

The office of the lieutenant governor confirmed two senators tested positive for COVID-19 after regular testing Monday.

In the House chamber Tuesday, Speaker David Ralston scolded legislators who did not take their COVID-19 tests on Monday, the first day of the legislative session.

"We sent out before we got here yesterday — last week, I think even the week before — multiple emails. Advising of two things: One, that members were required to be tested every Monday and Thursday and that testing would be available here in the Capitol, as it was yesterday," Ralston said. "Imagine how I felt when I came in today and found out that yesterday, 74 members of this body did not get tested that were present in the building. And that's a bipartisan count, by the way."

That's nearly half of the members of the House.

Kaleb McMichen, Ralston's spokesman, declined to give information on the number of House members who were not present at the start of the legislative session for COVID-19-related reasons or if any received a positive result after testing on the first day.

McMichen said that as of now, there are no repercussions stipulated for members who do not get tested, as leadership expected it would not be an issue.

Riley Bunch covers the Georgia statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites.

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