Senate Majority Leader Lightford tests positive for COVID-19 — planning to work from home despite ‘aching an awful lot’

In a brief phone conversation with the Chicago Sun-Times, Lightford said she left Springfield, where legislators are convening for session, and returned home where she will join committee meetings through Zoom.

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Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, in May.

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood.

Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP file

State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford said Wednesday she tested positive for COVID-19, requiring her to leave the Capitol and return to her west suburban home.

In a brief phone conversation with the Chicago Sun-Times, Lightford said she left Springfield, where legislators are convening for session, and will join committee meetings from her home through Zoom. 

The Maywood Democrat said after testing positive, she was “aching an awful lot.”

Lightford is the third person connected to state government known to have contracted the virus this week.

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford speaks as Gov. J.B. Pritzker prepares to sign a sweeping criminal justice reform bill in February.

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford speaks as Gov. J.B. Pritzker prepares to sign a sweeping criminal justice reform bill in February.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

A staff member of Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of lawmakers’ scheduled return Tuesday to Springfield for the in-person legislative session.

The staff member was tested Monday as part of the Legislature’s required protocols to return to in-person work in the Capitol, a spokeswoman for Welch said in a statement. Welch was not in contact with the person, so he will not quarantine.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker said a staff member in the governor’s office tested positive for the virus. That person, who was not identified, is the fourth reported member of Pritzker’s staff to have tested positive for the coronavirus since May.

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