Fifth Ohio House rep this week announces COVID-19 diagnosis

    Ohio Rep. John Rogers. Source: Ohio General Assembly.

    A member of the Ohio House of Representatives announced Tuesday he tested positive for COVID-19, the fifth lawmaker to do so this week.

    Rep. John Rogers, D-Mentor-on-the-Lake, shared news of the diagnosis Tuesday. A House Democratic spokeswoman said she didn’t have further detail on when he took the test.

    His case is the latest of a string of House lawmakers including:

    • Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, as was first reported by Cleveland.com and confirmed by this outlet
    • John Patterson, D-Jefferson, who said in an interview Monday he tested positive for COVID-19
    • Stephen Hambley, R-Brunswick, who wrote in a Dec. 6 Facebook post that he tested positive sometime after being exposed to the coronavirus at the Statehouse on Nov. 17
    • Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Twp., who wrote in a Dec. 4 Facebook post that he tested positive for COVID-19.

    More confirmed cases may be yet to come. Rep. Thomas West, D-Canton, said Tuesday he has cold symptoms and is slated for COVID-19 testing Wednesday.

    House Democratic spokeswoman Amber Epling said Tuesday evening there are currently nine Democratic lawmakers who are either sick, quarantining, or awaiting test results.

    On Nov. 19, Hambley, chairman of the House Civil Justice Committee, told committee members during a hearing that a staffer had recently tested positive for COVID-19. He urged his members to heed caution, wear masks, wash hands and socially distance and continued the meeting.

    House Democrats have criticized Republicans for failing to contact trace cases and exposures occurring in the Statehouse, not wearing masks during floor sessions and committee meetings, and hosting in-person sessions as new cases emerge.

    They once again forced a vote Tuesday on a mask mandate for the chamber, which was voted down along party lines.

    Five committee hearings remain on the House’s Wednesday calendar, as of Tuesday evening.

    Taylor Jach, a spokeswoman for House Republicans, did not immediately respond to emailed questions regarding whether anyone is conducting contact tracing or whether other Republicans have tested positive.

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