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House rep hospitalized, two senators test positive for COVID-19 at Utah State Capitol

Ipson, Hawkins, Weiler.jpg
Posted at 1:15 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 20:00:10-05

SALT LAKE CITY — One state lawmaker is hospitalized after contracting COVID-19, his family said in a social media post.

Rep. Jon Hawkins, R-Pleasant Grove, contracted the virus before the Utah State Legislature began.

"Representative Hawkins is not participating in the 2021 Legislative Session as he is in the hospital battling Covid-19 at this time. No matter your political affiliations, we would request that we all come together in prayer for Jon and his family," his family said in a Facebook post on his official legislative page. "Please respect the privacy of the Hawkins family at this time. Thank you."

In a statement, House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, offered his support to Rep. Hawkins and his family.

"Representative Hawkins is known for his jovial nature and we have certainly felt his absence during these opening days of the session. We have been in regular contact with his family to stay up to date on his condition and to offer the collective best wishes of the House," he said. "Representative Hawkins is a well-respected and esteemed member of our body and we hope to have him back at the Capitol, representing his constituents as soon as he is back to health."

Meanwhile, rapid testing implemented at the Utah State Capitol has discovered two senators are positive for COVID-19.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, announced the senators had tested negative for the virus last week. On Monday, their tests revealed they had COVID-19.

One, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, participated in the Senate floor debates while quarantining at home. He joked about his positive diagnosis on Twitter:

The Senate President also announced that Sen. Don Ipson, R-St. George, had tested positive and had returned home to quarantine.

"We think it's working," President Adams said of the rapid testing implemented for lawmakers, staffers and legislative interns to slow the spread of the virus.

Last week, rapid testing revealed three people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the building.

On Monday, a committee hearing was shut down after three people — described as "anti-mask" — showed up without face coverings, as mandated by the state. The committee chairs called a recess and had lawmakers go to their offices and participate virtually after the room was cleared.