Gov. Inslee, Lt. Gov. Heck Test Positive for Coronavirus, With Mild Symptoms


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Lt. Gov. Denny Heck have tested positive for the coronavirus and are working from home while experiencing mild symptoms, their offices announced Wednesday.

Inslee, who is fully vaccinated and has had two booster shots, took a rapid antigen test that came back positive Wednesday, his office said in a news release.

About one hour later, Heck, also vaccinated and double-boosted, announced his own positive test.

Inslee, 71, is working from home and consulting with his doctors to set up Paxlovid antiviral treatments. "I am experiencing very mild symptoms and am most glad I'm vaccinated and boosted," he said in a statement. "I hope others consider getting their booster because it's very effective in preventing serious illness."

Inslee spokesperson Mike Faulk said the governor was not sure where he contracted the illness. However, Inslee flew to California for Democratic Governors Association events last Thursday and returned Sunday, Faulk said.

Heck, 69, said in a statement he is working from home with "mild but unpleasant symptoms, similar to a bad head cold." He said he has begun a regimen of Paxlovid.

Heck said he'd previously tested positive in February but experienced no symptoms. "Unfortunately COVID-19 reinfections can happen, and that's another good reason to go and get that booster shot," he said.

Heck's office said in a news release he had not been in proximity with Inslee in recent days and that their cases are unrelated.

Inslee's communications director, Jaime Smith, added in a statement, "Aside from having a slight cough, the governor is feeling well and in typical good spirits.

"He is working from home and will soon receive antiviral treatments. As we're seeing, the current COVID variants are extremely contagious and vaccinations remain the most important tool to protecting ourselves against serious illness, hospitalization and death. We hope every eligible Washingtonian takes advantage of these life-saving tools."

Citing rising infections and hospitalizations from COVID, state public health officials are again urging Washingtonians to wear face masks indoors.

No new mandates have been issued.