In Short

Oregon Democratic nominee Tina Kotek catches Covid

By: - July 5, 2022 4:44 pm

House Speaker Tina Kotek addresses the chamber during a legislative special session on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Democratic governor nominee Tina Kotek has contracted Covid, she announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

“Today I tested positive for Covid-19,” Kotek tweeted. “I’m resting and taking it easy for a few days. Grateful to be vaccinated and boosted!” 

She’s one of more than 7,000 Oregonians to test positive for Covid during the past seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has classified 24 of Oregon’s 36 counties as “high” risk for the disease and recommended that Oregonians in those counties resume wearing masks indoors to limit spread. 

A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to texted questions about where Kotek might have contracted Covid. She spent the past several days campaigning and traveling in Oregon, according to Twitter photos, including taking in a Portland Pickles baseball game, hiking at Silver Falls State Park near Silverton and marching in the Hillsboro Fourth of July parade along with U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon. 

Bonamici had Covid in June and described her symptoms as mild, thanks to vaccines. A spokesperson said Tuesday she has recovered and is testing negative. 

Several other members of Oregon’s congressional delegation have developed Covid, including Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio. Merkley, who was treated with an antiviral medication, suffered a relapse in early June.

Senate President Peter Courtney was briefly hospitalized with Covid in late May. All of them have been vaccinated.

Oregon lifted most of its Covid restrictions earlier this spring. Health officials say vaccines remain the best protection against severe disease and hospitalization, but they’re less effective than in the past.

Hospitalizations have risen in Oregon in the past week, according to data from a group affiliated with the state’s hospital association, the Oregon Association of Hospital and Health Systems. Since June 29, they’ve been above 400, with 424 people hospitalized with Covid on Tuesday, July 5.

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Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.