GR US

Masks Up: Mississippi Lawmakers Return Amid Virus Outbreak

Αssociated Press

Louie Brown and her son Nico, 3, feed a giraffe as they wear their masks at Utah s Hogle Zoo Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi legislators have returned to the state Capitol for the first time since a coronavirus outbreak in early July hospitalized several legislators and killed one person.

Mississippi’s state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, said Monday that 49 total legislators tested positive in the outbreak — more than one-fourth of the entire body.

Lawmakers left the building July 1 after working there throughout the month of June, many without wearing masks or following social distancing regulations. The first cases in the group were confirmed in the early days of July.

The health officer said at least four legislators were hospitalized and three required intensive care. Dobbs said that at least 12 others, including lobbyists and staff, were infected, including one non-legislator who died.

Among those who tested positive in the heavily Republican body are the GOP presiding officers, House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann.