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Jason Lowe
From left to right, Rep. Mickey Dollens (D-OKC) and Rep. Jason Lowe (D-OKC) listen to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speak Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (Michael Duncan)

A fifth person associated with the Oklahoma Legislature has tested positive for COVID-19: Rep. Jason Lowe (D-OKC).

This morning, the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus distributed a press release revealing Lowe’s diagnosis. First elected in 2016, Lowe is said to be “recovering” while intending to work from home. A call and text message to Lowe were not returned by the publication of this story.

“I am extremely grateful for the care that I received, and I have a new appreciation for what thousands of Oklahoma health care workers are dealing with right now,” Lowe said in the release. “I encourage us all to support those in our communities who put their lives on the line for the citizens of the great state of Oklahoma. Let’s lift these selfless professionals up in prayer and support during this crisis.”

The press release did not state the last time Lowe visited the Capitol, but it did say he first reported symptoms “several days ago.” Those symptoms have subsided. From the release:

Lowe reported several days ago he began experiencing symptoms that included a fever, chills, body aches and exhaustion. He immediately contacted his primary care physician and quarantined at home. Although Lowe is currently showing no symptoms, he is continuing to self-isolate so that he does not pose a risk to others.

Lowe did not vote on the Monday, March 16, adjustment of House rules, nor did he vote on the only two bills considered in the House on Tuesday, March 17. That same day, a Senate staff member was announced to have tested positive for COVID-19, which has become a global pandemic that has killed more than 16,000 people globally and has disrupted the world economy.

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Since then, two House staff members have also tested positive, as did Sen. Paul Rosino (R-OKC) who announced his diagnosis March 24.

In his press release, Lowe urged all Oklahomans to take the global pandemic seriously and practice social distancing.

“It is of vital importance that we all stay home to help flatten the curve swiftly and effectively,” Lowe said. “I am encouraged that we will get through this together. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.”

Both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature adjourned indefinitely March 17. The Oklahoma Constitution requires that the Legislature must return and pass a balanced state budget by May 29.

(Update: This story was updated at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, to include additional information.)

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William W. Savage III (Tres) holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.