Three Republican Alabama House members tested positive for COVID-19 this week, the House speaker announced Tuesday.
House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, said Reps. Wes Allen, R-Troy, Tommy Hanes, R-Bryant, and Ritchie Whorton, R-Owens Cross Roads had all tested positive for coronavirus. All three were not in the State House on Tuesday.
McCutcheon said that no legislator who’d been tested at the State House on Tuesday showed a positive result.
McCutcheon encouraged House members from the floor Tuesday to wear masks and practice social distancing, although during a portion of the day’s proceedings, while members recognized a longtime State House employee, some could be seen not wearing masks or practicing social distancing on the House floor.
Two former members of the Alabama House died in December after contracting COVID-19. Former State Rep. Richard Laird died at the Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton, Georgia, according to The Randolph Leader. Former Rep. Jack Page of Gadsden died as well, at a local hospital, The Gadsden Times reported.
Numerous Alabama politicians, largely Republicans, have tested positive for the virus — some having severe cases. Republican Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth in October announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus. He had only mild symptoms. State Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, survived a serious bout of COVID-19 and was hospitalized for a time.
Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, tested positive for COVID-19 in December as well. State Rep. Joe Faust, R-Fairhope, was in the ICU at Thomas Hospital in December after testing positive for COVID-19, WKRG reported.
State Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, was twice in an ICU with COVID-19, and Alabama Republican Party chief of staff Harold Sachs died from COVID-19 on Nov. 10. State Sen. Larry Dixon, R-Montgomery, died on Dec. 3 after complications from COVID-19 after being exposed to the disease at a social gathering.