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2 More Texas Democrats Who Flew To Washington Test Positive For COVID-19, Bringing Total To 5

WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Two more Texas House Democrats who flew to Washington, D.C. last week to block a vote on Republicans' elections bill have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to five since Friday.

The Texas House Democratic Caucus on Saturday said one member tested positive on Friday and two others on Saturday. Now, two more have gotten the virus, a person familiar with the situation told CBS News.

All five of the members who tested positive are fully vaccinated.

"The House Democratic Caucus is following all CDC guidance and protocols. This is a sober reminder that COVID is still with us, and though vaccinations offer tremendous protection, we still must take necessary precautions. We are in touch with public health experts in Texas to provide additional guidance. Our caucus will follow all recommendations from public health experts as we continue our work," Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Chris Turner said in a statement on Saturday.

Later in the evening, State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, said he was one of the two who tested positive on Sunday.

Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, also said she tested positive this weekend. The other three House Democrats were not identified.

Dozens of Democratic members of the Texas House left Austin last week in order to prevent a quorum during a special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott. Since the House did not have a quorum, bills such as the controversial elections overhaul were not able to be considered, leaving the House in a standstill.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan on Saturday released a statement on the news of the positive COVID-19 tests, saying, "Kim and I extend our prayers for safety and health for the members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus who tested positive for COVID-19 while in Washington, D.C. My staff has reached out to Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, and his epidemiology team for any additional guidance on protocols for those exposed to COVID-19 post-vaccination."

Phelan and other legislative leaders have continued to call for the Democrats to return to Austin, so that the special session can move forward.

Abbott told CBS 11 News last week that if priority bills aren't passed, he will continue to call special sessions.

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