Rep. Howse the first known Ohio legislator to test positive for COVID-19

    State Rep. Stephanie Howse, D-Cleveland.

    State Rep. Stephanie Howse announced Monday afternoon she had tested positive for COVID-19, the first known Ohio legislator to have contracted the virus.

    Howse, a Democrat from Cleveland, shared the diagnosis in a video posted to Facebook and Twitter.

    Howse said she had a few “mild” symptoms and hopes to make a full recovery.

    “I have an obligation, being a public figure, to spread this information,” she said in the video.

    Howse represents a portion of Cuyahoga County, which has seen the second-most number of cases of any county in Ohio (nearly 8,000 as of Monday). 

    The state of Ohio has recorded approximately 58,000 confirmed cases over the past few months. This includes 2,927 deaths and a cumulative total of 8,249 hospitalizations. 

    Colleagues in both parties wished Howse a speedy recovery.

    The Ohio House of Representatives is currently on break, with no legislative sessions scheduled until September.

    Howse’s positive test follows that of an Ohio Senate staffer from two weeks ago.

    Tyler Buchanan
    Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.