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Illinois Senate Republican leader tests positive for COVID-19 following state fair

Dan McConchie says he’s been vaccinated for months and his symptoms are “relatively mild.”

Dan McConchie | Rich Hein/Sun-Times | video
Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie has tested positive for COVID-19 after the Illinois State Fair despite being vaccinated.
Sun-Times file

Dan McConchie, the Illinois Senate Republican leader, tested positive for COVID-19 a day after attending the Illinois State Fair, according to his press secretary.

“After a close contact advised today they were positive for COVID-19, I immediately was tested & learned that I too have the virus — despite being fully vaccinated for many months,” McConchie wrote in a tweet Aug. 20. “While this is a breakthrough case, thankfully the symptoms are relatively mild.”

The senator attended one outdoor event at the fair Aug. 19, and those in “close contact” with him are being notified, according to his press secretary, Whitney Barnes.

McConchie is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, Barnes said.

Following the tweet announcing his positive test, McConchie — who was vaccinated earlier this spring — emphasized the importance of getting the COVID-19 shot.

“Look: I know someone who is suffering in the hospital right now because they refused to get vaccinated,” the tweet read. “The virus is real. The danger is real. Get vaccinated. Do it today.”

The Republican leader’s positive test comes days after the senate’s top Democrat, State Sen. President Don Harmon, also reported having a breakthrough case of the virus after being vaccinated.

Every country in Illinois is currently experiencing high transmission rates of COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. In Chicago, the average daily case count is at 473 and rising, according to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Although breakthrough cases are being reported, the highest transmission rates continue to remain in unvaccinated populations, the Sun-Times has reported. Currently, 58.4% of Illinoisans over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated and 75.4% have received at least one dose.