BOSTON (WWLP) – Rep. Mike Day, a Stoneham Democrat, has become the first member of the Legislature to test positive for the coronavirus, posting on Facebook late Wednesday afternoon that he received his test back Monday after falling ill two weeks ago, and will remain in quarantine beyond March 26.
Day, the vice-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he initially felt a “little off” on Tuesday, March 12 and then intermittently experienced a low-grade fever and aches and chills.
“It felt like a mild case of the flu,” Day wrote.
Day said that by St. Patrick’s Day five days later his symptoms had subsided, but he was notified that an employee of the House – the first known case in the State House – had tested positive, and he called the hospital and was told to report for testing.
He got the positive result back on Monday.
“I am deeply appreciative and thankful for the work being done by our health care professionals and our government officials throughout this pandemic,” Day wrote. “I have been only mildly ill given my exposure to COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for more than a week.”
Day said that while his official quarantine ends on March 26, he intends to self-quarantine “for an extended period beyond that,” and he said his wife and three children remain symptom free so far.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s office notified members and staff in an email late Wednesday afternoon that an member of the House had tested positive, but did not identify the lawmaker.
In the email, obtained by the News Service, DeLeo said that the legislator had last been in the State House on Monday, March 9 and was recovering, though still in quarantine. DeLeo said all offices that the lawmaker had visited on his last day in the State House had been notified, and would be cleaned.
“We fully understand that, for some, receiving an email of this nature can cause anxiety. Our intent is not to cause anxiety for Members or employees, but rather to provide you with updated information that may help you,” DeLeo wrote.
DeLeo went on to say that while the legislator only got tested because of the prior notification of a House employee testing positive, he was unaware of any physical contact between the member and the employee other than the fact that they both worked in the State House.
“We urge all employees to continue to practice consistent social distancing, and be attuned to the self-care and precautionary measures that the CDC has recommended,” DeLeo said. “Please remember that only those staff whose positions are essential to the discharge of House operations, including sessions of the House, should be physically at the State House at this point.”