Pa.’s most veteran state senator tests positive for COVID-19

Longtime Bucks County Republican Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson announced on Facebook on Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now quarantining.

Tomlinson said in his post that he started experiencing mild flu-like symptoms over the weekend.

“After consultation with my doctor, I decided to get tested for COVID-19,” he said on his Facebook post. Late Tuesday evening, “I received word that I tested positive. I am feeling well, but I am currently quarantining. Just a reminder to all that you must continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, and use social distancing to help defeat the spread.”

Tomlinson is the most senior member of the Senate and is now serving in his seventh four-year term in the chamber. Prior to that, he served two two-year terms in the state House of Representatives.

Tomlinson is the third member of the Senate GOP caucus to announce he contracted the virus. The others were Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin County, who learned he was positive during a visit with former President Donald Trump at the White House, and Sen. Judy Ward, R-Blair County.

More than a dozen state lawmakers, as well as Gov. Tom Wolf, have tested positive for the virus since its onset in Pennsylvania in early March. Last week, Democratic Reps. Patty Kim of Dauphin County and Matt Bradford of Montgomery County announced they had tested positive for it.

According to the state Department of Health, as of midnight, there were 5,664 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 788,834. There are 4,882 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 889 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania now stands at 20,128, according the department’s latest report.

Jan Murphy may be reached at jmurphy@pennlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.