Democratic leader in Georgia House, James Beverly, catches COVID

02/18/2021 —Atlanta, Georgia — Georgia Rep. Shea Roberts, left, (D-Atlanta) and Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly (D-Macon) speak amongst themselves in the House Chambers on day 19 of the Georgia Legislative Session at the Georgia State Capitol building in downtown Atlanta, Thursday, February 18, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
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02/18/2021 —Atlanta, Georgia — Georgia Rep. Shea Roberts, left, (D-Atlanta) and Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly (D-Macon) speak amongst themselves in the House Chambers on day 19 of the Georgia Legislative Session at the Georgia State Capitol building in downtown Atlanta, Thursday, February 18, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Beverly urges masks and safety precautions after positive test

Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly says he tested positive for COVID-19 this week even though he was vaccinated.

Beverly, a Democrat from Macon, is recovering after he started feeling run down and sore about 10 days ago. He lost his sense of taste and smell, developed a cough and felt a low-grade headache.

Beverly said Tuesday the illness is a wake-up call to remain vigilant about the virus.

“All these people out there believe they can’t get it. I was twice vaccinated, in good health and don’t have pre-existing conditions. And I got it,” said Beverly, an optometrist who was vaccinated in February as a medical provider. “People need to keep wearing their masks because at the end of the day, you don’t want this.”

Nine state senators tested positive for COVID-19 during this year’s legislative session. Staff for the state House refused to release information about how many representatives caught the coronavirus.

Of 3,907 tests administered at the Capitol to senators, staff and interns during Georgia’s three-month legislative session, there were about two dozen positive COVID-19 tests — including the nine senators.