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Senate President Jackson tests positive for COVID-19

Sen. Troy Jackson (D- Aroostook) and Sen. Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli (D-Arrowsic) have both tested positive for COVID-19, according to press releases.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) has tested positive for COVID Tuesday.

According to a press release from the Office of the Senate President, Jackson took a rapid test in Augusta after learning that he had been a close contact of someone with the virus. 

He is now quarantining and working remotely and has a PCR test scheduled for Wednesday. 

President Jackson released the following statement in the release:

“Today, I learned that I tested positive for COVID-19 despite receiving the vaccine earlier this year. Although I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, I decided to get tested immediately upon learning that I had been a close contact to someone who had tested positive for the virus. While breakthrough COVID-19 infections are far more rare, we know that they are possible. More and more breakthrough infections continue to be reported all across the state and country due to the highly contagious Delta variant. I’m just extraordinarily grateful for the COVID-19 vaccine, which continues to be effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization.

“Throughout the next week, I will monitor my health, isolate and continue my work remotely for the people of the state and northern Maine. I don’t plan to return to the State House until I have a clean bill of health.

“Please know that my office is in the process of notifying my close contacts to avoid further spreading the virus. We are taking this very seriously and doing our part to protect the health and safety of others. I would encourage others who aren’t vaccinated to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their loved ones. The only way we are going to get through this pandemic is if we look out for each other and remain vigilant.”

On Wednesday, the Office of the Senate President issued a press release, saying Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli (D-Arrowsic) also tested positive for the virus after taking a PCR test. She is vaccinated and is experiencing mild symptoms, according to the release. 

Sen. Vitelli released the following statement:

“Today, I learned that I too have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus despite my vaccination status. I’m grateful that I’m only experiencing mild symptoms, resembling a head cold, and am able to isolate safely at home while I recover. More importantly, I’m grateful for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Upon learning of my positive test results, I immediately alerted all close contacts so they can get tested as soon as possible. I wanted to share my positive test results with the public for the sake of transparency, but also as a reminder that we must continue to use every tool in our toolbox to protect ourselves and each other.

“For months, we’ve all been wearing our masks, remaining socially distant and doing our best to follow CDC guidelines. Yet, this positive test result serves as a stark reminder that the Delta variant is highly contagious, and we must remain exceptionally vigilant as we head into the colder months. I would encourage everyone to follow Dr. Nirav Shah’s guidance and get both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones. Let’s take care of each other.”