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Mississippi State Capitol building. Photo by Rory Doyle/AFP via Getty Images

At least eight Mississippi state lawmakers have received positive tests for the novel coronavirus after many were in the Capitol building and chose not to wear masks or practice social distancing, AP reports.

Why it matters: The infected officials include 73-year-old Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, and 57-year-old House Speaker Philip Gunn — both of whom are Republicans.

What they're saying: A state health officer said Tuesday that there are at least 11 other suspected infections among legislators and Capitol employees and that the virus is spreading at parties and other gatherings around the state, the AP writes.

The big picture: The lawmakers were inside the Capitol building throughout much of last month and ended their annual session July 1.

Go deeper... Fauci: "False narrative" to take comfort in lower coronavirus death rate

Go deeper

The coronavirus is surging again

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: After a database error, Missouri has not reported cases since Oct. 10; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: The U.S. is headed solidly in the wrong direction — and at a dangerous time, as experts say the fall and winter will likely make the pandemic worse. They had hoped we could get cases under control before then, but that seems unrealistic.

Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy, large study shows — FDA authorizes mix-and-match for booster shots — J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year.
  2. Health: Cases and deaths keep falling — White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11 — The global coronavirus vaccine gap — Gates Foundation to send $120 million of antiviral pills to lower-income countries.
  3. Politics: Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID — Puerto Rico leads U.S. vaccination rates — Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Melania Trump reveals son Barron had COVID-19, opens up about diagnosis

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump disclosed on Wednesday that her 14-year-old son, Barron Trump, also tested positive for COVID-19 in a statement detailing her experiences with the virus. Barron exhibited no symptoms and has since tested negative.

The big picture: President Trump revealed that he and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 1. The president was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center the following day.

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