Rep. Susie Lee has COVID after seeing dying mom

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Steve Marcus

Congresswoman Susie Lee, D-Nev., speaks during a Get Out the Vote canvass event outside a Biden-Harris campaign field office in Henderson Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. Comedian and actress Chelsea Handler attended the event along with several Democratic candidates.

Published Wed, Nov 25, 2020 (6:44 p.m.)

Updated Wed, Nov 25, 2020 (7:03 p.m.)

Nevada U.S. Rep. Susie Lee announced Wednesday she has tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to Ohio to visit her dying mother.

Lee said in a statement that she tested negative for the disease caused by the coronavirus on Sunday and then traveled to see her mother in Canton, Ohio, on Monday. She said she took precautions including wearing a mask and social distancing.

Lee's mother was in hospice care, and Joan Kelley died Tuesday night after months of deteriorating health.

Lee said she was tested again Wednesday and received a positive result. She has no symptoms and plans to participate in remote memorial services for her mother and do her congressional work remotely while isolating.

Lee is a Democrat and won reelection to a second term representing Nevada's 3rd Congressional District on Nov. 3.

“This has been an extremely difficult couple of days for my family,” Lee said in her statement. “I’m going to share more in the coming days about my mom and the pivotal role she played in shaping my life and the lives of my siblings.”

Lee is the second high-profile elected official in Nevada to test positive for the virus this month following Gov. Steve Sisolak’s diagnosis on Nov. 13.

Lee’s announcement also came on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, which experts have cautioned could cause cases to surge across the country.

More than 140,000 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Nevada since mid-March. The virus has killed 2,071 people in the state.

Wednesday saw another record-breaking day with 3,159 new cases reported. About 10% of the total cases occurred in the past seven days, according to state figures.

Sun reporter Ricardo Torres-Cortez contributed to this report.

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