Tennessee State Representative Contracts COVID-19


A Tennessee state lawmaker says he has tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

State Rep. Kent Calfee (R-Kingston) said on Facebook on Friday that both he and his wife have tested positive. The 71-year-old Kingston lawmaker said his wife is receiving treatment and he is self-isolating, though he is not experiencing symptoms.

Calfee did not return The Tennessee Star’s requests for comment Sunday, but he did address his diagnosis on social media.

“Recently, we learned that my wife, Marilyn, has tested positive for Covid-19. Out of an abundance of caution, I also was tested earlier this week. This afternoon those test results also came back positive,” Calfee said on his Facebook page.

“At this time, I am not experiencing any symptoms, and I have been self-isolating. I wanted to inform you of my positive test, so you could also take additional precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe, if you feel they are necessary. I have also notified legislative administration in Nashville, so they can take any additional precautions in accordance with the CDC to maintain a safe working environment for all within the Cordell Hull Building.”

Calfee, in his Facebook post, asked for continued prayers as his wife undergoes COVID-19 treatment.

“My first responsibility is to her and to continue to serve as a faithful husband during these challenging times in both of our lives,” Calfee said.

“My office and staff remain available to serve the citizens of our communities. Thank you for your continued support, your feedback, your partnership, and most importantly, your prayers. It is an honor to serve you.”

The Tennessean reported that Calfee attended two days of Joint Government Operations Committee meetings last week. Just a few lawmakers on the 24-member committee wore masks, the newspaper reported.

Tennessee has reported more than 61,000 cases and at least 738 deaths from the virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 





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One Thought to “Tennessee State Representative Contracts COVID-19”

  1. Cannoneer2

    When I worked for state government, we always said ” Thank goodness for Mississippi.” There were many measures of good state government upon which Tennessee would have ended up dead last if it hadn’t been for Mississippi. The Mississippi Legislature now has 20 or so Representatives infected so far. Are we going to try to top that?