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Washington Lt. Governor Denny Heck tests positive for COVID-19

Heck is currently isolated at home until he is cleared to return to his post at the head of the Senate chamber.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state Lt. Governor Denny Heck tested positive for COVID-19 Monday morning.

Heck is fully vaccinated and has received his booster shot, according to a release from his office.

He is currently asymptomatic and isolated at home, working remotely until he can return to his office at the state’s Legislative Building in Olympia.

“I am grateful to be fully vaccinated, boosted, and asymptomatic. I am also grateful for rapid test technology alerting me to the need to isolate, cutting the chain of transmission for the virus. I look forward to returning to the Senate chamber once cleared to do so,” Heck said in a statement.

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The 69-year-old official was elected in 2020 after serving for eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He lives with his wife Paula, who is a retired middle school principal.

Heck is also the president of the Senate and presides over that chamber during the legislative session.

The state’s current legislative session is being held mostly virtually amid the recent spike in the omicron variant, which is responsible for 100% of the state’s new COVID cases.

The state has responded by scaling back the number of people allowed in each chamber during hearings, with some appearing in person and others appearing virtually. Additional measures include universal masking on the Capitol grounds and the suspension of all in-person meetings among legislative or employee workgroups.

Heck would also take over as acting governor in the event of Gov. Jay Inslee’s absence.

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