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Sen. President Adams says he’s safe to return to work after positive COVID test

Jan 19, 2022, 9:47 PM | Updated: Jan 20, 2022, 11:21 am
Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, removes his mask while presiding in the Senate chamber at ...
Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, removes his mask while presiding in the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on the second day of the legislative session, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Photo credit: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Senate President Stuart Adams said Wednesday that he and his staff are safe to return to the Utah Capitol to work, despite testing positive for COVID earlier this week.

The announcement is the latest in a days-long struggle for clarification about Adams’ COVID-19 status, and whether it put his legislative colleagues and staff in jeopardy by possibly exposing them to the virus.

Adams tested positive last week. and skipped accompanying Gov. Cox during the governor’s COVID-19 briefing. He reportedly started feeling symptoms on Jan. 12. Based on revised CDC guidelines, a five-day quarantine would have ended in time for him to attend the opening of the 2022 Utah Legislative Session in person.

The problem is that on subsequent rapid tests, Sen. Adams thought he had tested negative for the virus when he had actually tested positive again.

“I guess after the fifteen minutes, I guess those with the test saw a faint line, but they never told me about it, so I thought I had two negative tests,” he said on Wednesday.

State health officials say it’s common for someone to test positive for up to 12 weeks because they’re still shedding antibodies. Senator Adams’ Chief of Staff Mark Thomas said that’s likely why one of the four tests Adams took came back as positive.

However, the Department of Health’s website says people should stay home for five days if they test positive, even if they don’t have symptoms.

The Senate President had COVID-19 once before, reports the Deseret News.  Adams believes he had COVID-19 after attending the 2020 Sundance Film Festival during the first legislative session of 2020. 

Simone Seikaly contributed.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus (updated Jan. 2022)

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 spreads from person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, get your booster shot.
  • Wear a mask. Here are the current CDC recommendations (as of Jan. 12, 2022):
    • People aged 2 years and older who are not vaccinated should wear a face covering when indoors.
    • When outdoors, masks are generally not needed unless you are in a crowded setting.
    • Even if they are vaccinated, people with weakened immune systems may still be at risk and should wear a mask indoors.
    • Masks should be worn indoors in public in high transmission areas.
    • Masks that cover your nose and mouth are required to be worn on planes, busses, trains, and other public transportation when traveling into, within, or out of the United States.
  • Stay six feet away from others (social distancing) especially if you are at high risk.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Testing. There are several types of tests for you to use if you suspect you are sick. These include viral and antibody tests, conducted by others or by you in your home (self-tests). 
    • If you test positive, you should isolate. The CDC now recommends a five-day isolation period, followed by five days of mask-wearing when around others.

Local resources

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

 

 

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