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Sixth member of Texas Democratic delegation tests positive for Covid

The delegation fled en masse to Washington on July 12 to at least temporarily stop Texas voting legislation.
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A sixth member of the delegation of Texas Democrats in Washington, D.C. tested positive for Covid-19, a spokesperson told NBC News on Monday.

Cara Santucci, the spokeswoman for the Texas House Democrats confirmed the case and said the undisclosed member is self-isolating.

She initially said last week the delegation would provide daily rapid tests for its members and their staffers who are in the nation's Capitol. But in a Monday statement, she said the delegation will no longer release a daily Covid case count.

“We’re focusing on our daily testing, following and going beyond CDC guidelines, social distancing and wearing masks as much as possible. We’re just not going to release daily counts," she said.

Monday's announcement comes after five Texas Democrats who fled to Washington in an attempt to raise awareness about Republican-sponsored voter restrictions in their state tested positive for Covid over the weekend.

One representative of the delegation — State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer — confirmed his positive test in a statement Sunday. Fischer said he tested positive through a rapid antigen test, but tested negative Friday and Saturday and added he was experiencing "extremely mild symptoms."

Rep. Celia Israel also said she had tested positive.

Three of those that tested positive were believed to be fully vaccinated.

The delegation fled en masse to Washington on July 12 to at least temporarily stop Texas voting legislation until the lawmakers return or the special session called by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ends.

Republicans, including Abbott, are trying to pass legislation that would add identification requirements for mail voting, ban some early voting options, create criminal penalties for breaking election codes and empower partisan poll watchers, which Democrats have argued would disenfranchise minority voters.