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COVID-19 Hits Legislature – Gittens Tests Positive

Sen. Kenneth Gittens speaks during the Aug. 10 Committee of the Whole hearing. (File photo by Barry Leerdam for the V.I. Legislature)

Sen. Kenneth Gittens on Monday became the first V.I. senator to test positive for COVID-19.

In a statement issued Monday, Gittens said he began experiencing some of the symptoms associated with the deadly virus early last week and decided to get tested.

“Once I started feeling some of the symptoms like the coughing, headache, joint pain and loss of taste, I contacted one of our health care facilities so that I can get tested, know my status and protect those around me,” he said.

Gittens said that since testing positive on Monday, he has notified the few people that he has had close contact with in the last few days so that they can evaluate their health and decide their actions forward.

“My symptoms appear to be very mild, but I do intend to follow all of the doctor’s orders closely and quarantine for at least the next 14 days,” he said.

In his statement, Gittens encouraged the community to be considerate of the people around them by adhering to social distancing mandates, washing hands often and wearing face coverings. Everyone should pay attention to their health, he said, and if they develop any symptoms, they should monitor them and follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health.

“No matter how careful we think we are, anyone can be infected. I ask everyone to keep me in their prayers for my continued health and strength as I go through this situation,” Gittens said.

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