Sen. Luz Escamilla Tests Positive for COVID-19 | Buzz Blog
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Sen. Luz Escamilla Tests Positive for COVID-19

Senate minority whip made the announcement Sunday night.


  • Ray Howze/FILE
Following a banner week during which Rep. Ben McAdams tested positive for coronavirus and Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney decided to self-quarantine, Utah politics continued to be rattled Sunday night, when Sen. Luz Escamilla issued a statement saying she’d tested positive for COVID-19.

Escamilla said she sought medical attention on Friday after experiencing symptoms. “My family and I are quarantined and taking every precaution to avoid spreading the virus,” she said in a news release. “As someone who has asthma, this is a scary diagnosis, but I am confident that I will make a full recovery.” The announcement came on the same day Utah saw its first COVID-19-related death.

Escamilla went on to say she would continue to advocate for the most vulnerable during this time.

“Thousands of Utahns are out-of-work through no fault of their own, and our state must take immediate steps to remove the threat of evictions and fees in the event that people are unable to pay rent,” the formal mayoral hopeful said. “We must also identify and address the needs of the truckers, food service workers, grocery workers, childcare providers and others who are proving that they are indeed essential employees. They, along with our medical professionals, custodial workers and others are keeping our world moving during this difficult time.”

The District 1 senator also highlighted the needs of tribal communities, those with limited English proficiency and the homeless.

"I love the people I work with and the legislative process: seeing something begin with an idea and take it through a whole process, and be able to pass something in a year, and start seeing the results of your work." Escamilla, a self-professed "policy geek" told City Weekly on the first day of the 2020 Legislature.

The session saw the Tijuana, Mexico native introduce a bill that would modify provisions of the Utah Inland Port Authority Act. (The proposed 16,000-acre port in Salt Lake City's Northwest Quadrant sits in close proximity to her district.) The bill won final approval from the House on a 70-1 vote during the session’s final day. Other highlights included an amendment proposal that would ban masturbation, given the male-dominated Legislature’s evergreen fixation on over regulating abortion rights.

In a statement, Senate President J. Stuart Adams wished Escamilla a swift recovery.

“My thoughts and prayers for a complete, speedy recovery are with Sen. Escamilla,” he said. “I commend her and her family for self-quarantining and taking precautions to avoid spreading the virus.”

Ending her announcement on an uplifting note, Escamilla prompted all Utahns to heed the state’s Coronavirus Task Force’s measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“This is a challenging time and there is a lot of uncertainty, but we will get through this. In the meantime, please take this seriously,” she said. “Even if you are young and healthy, please practice social distancing. If you can stay home, please do.”