Two representatives in the Ohio House are in the hospital right now, battling COVID-19. They are the latest to acknowledge they have contracted the virus.
Both Ohio House representatives are COVID positive and have pneumonia. Democrat John Patterson (D-Jefferson) says he has pneumonia in both lungs, but he is lucky because he sought treatment for it early. Democrat John Rogers (D- Mentor-on-the-Lake) says he was hospitalized Sunday when his blood oxygen levels were low but says he is breathing easier now.
Both of the Democratic representatives attended a House Finance Committee Meeting earlier this month with Republican Rep. Steve Hambley. In an interview, Hambley told reporters he tested positive twice for coronavirus last month. Two other representatives who attended that same meeting, Republicans Rick Carfagna and Gary Sherer, have also tested positive in recent days.
Visitors and staff members at the Ohio Statehouse are required to wear masks while in the building. Most Democrats wear masks and some Republicans do. But many Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate do not and say they are not required to do so since they are elected by Ohioans. Democrats have tried to change that but those efforts have been unsuccessful. Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) released a statement saying, "Join us in sending prayers and well wishes to Reps. Patterson and Rogers. We remain hopeful that everyone continues to take the necessary precautions to prevent spreading COVID to friends, family and co-workers.”