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Politics and Government

Colorado lawmaker tests positive for coronavirus, but it’s not COVID-19

State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, a Commerce City Democrat, was told she had COVID-19. But her doctor reviewed the results again and says she's got a different coronavirus known as NL63.

Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, speaks about mental health parity to the audience at The Colorado Sun's Big Ideas 2020 Forum at the Cable Center on the University of Denver campus on Jan. 14, 2020. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)
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Updated on Monday, March 23, 2020, at 1:09 p.m.: Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet’s test results were misinterpreted by a doctor, according to Colorado House Democrats. While she has a coronavirus, it is not COVID-19. Michaelson Jenet, upon further review by the doctor, had actually tested positive for a different coronavirus, NL63. Michaelson Jenet said she received the update four days after her initial diagnosis with COVID-19.

A Colorado state lawmaker has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

COVID-19 IN COLORADO

The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

  • MAP: Cases and deaths in Colorado.
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State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, a Commerce City Democrat, says her test results came back on Thursday morning. She has notified legislative leadership.

Michaelson Jenet said she has symptoms, but is doing OK. She is quarantining in her home away from her family members.

“For me, it’s fever, shortness of breath and the tight chest,” she said through coughs.

Michaelson Jenet said she doesn’t think she contracted the virus until recently.

“While I have had a confirmed case of bronchitis for much of March, my doctors have told me that it’s likely I contracted COVID-19 in the last few days,” she said in a written statement. “I am staying quarantined at home, and my children and husband are self-isolating. We will all get through this together, and I look forward to seeing my friends, colleagues and constituents when I’m better and no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others.”

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

The legislature shut down on Saturday as a precaution. Michaelson Jenet was at the Capitol that day.

Michaelson Jenet is a champion of mental health and health care issues at the Capitol. She was elected to the Capitol in 2016.

Michaelson Jenet is the first state lawmaker in Colorado to announce they have the coronavirus. More than 200 people have been diagnosed with the disease in Colorado, which has killed three people.