Sen. Paul Rosino (R-OKC) has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Reached this afternoon, Rosino said he began feeling ill Sunday, March 15, and has left his house only once since: to go to the doctor.
“I did everything I was supposed to,” Rosino said. “I have not left (my house). My wife and I have stayed at home. We have done exactly what we are supposed to by self-isolating and keeping other people away. If everybody can do that, we can at least bend the curve I hope.”
Rosino did not go to the Capitol on Monday, March 16, or Tuesday, March 17. On that date, Senate leadership learned that a staff member in the Oklahoma State Senate had been diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection. Rosino said he called the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s relevant hotline and was instructed to contact his physician. Rosino said he relayed information to his doctor and, owing to his symptoms and potential of having been exposed, he was instructed to go in for examination.
“They knew I was coming. I walked in, but they shooed me out,” Rosino said. “I stood on the curb on the sidewalk going into the building. They brought me a mask. I put the mask on outside. They walked me straight into the examining room. The doctor came in and saw me, and we did the test. Then I walked straight out the door and went home.”
He said he and his wife have prepared all their meals at home and have worked to remain isolated. He said he is now feeling better.
COVID-19: Oklahoma Senate staff member tests positive by Tres Savage
“I think if people will just follow the rules and they do what they are supposed to, we can bend this curve,” said Rosino, a businessman and U.S. Navy veteran who was first elected in a November 2017 special election. “We appreciate everything health professionals are doing, and if people will just stay at home, they will not infect the most vulnerable and the unhealthy. And that is who we need to protect.”
Owing to the Senate staff member’s diagnosis last week, many senators and other staff members were swabbed and tested by a private company contracted by the Senate. The results of those tests have yet to be released, but earlier today Health and Human Services Secretary Jerome Loughridge said that not all senators and staff members received tests.
Access to the Capitol has been limited since March 16, and the Legislature has temporarily changed the rules for public meetings in the state to expand allowances for teleconferencing. State lawmakers are currently adjourned indefinitely from the legislative session, which must be completed with a balanced state budget by May 29.
Rosino said that at the time of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s press conference Tuesday, the governor did not know that a legislator had tested positive for COVID-19.