New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has tested positive for COVID-19, preventing him from attending Governor Hochul’s State of the State address on Wednesday.
Heastie, who is fully vaccinated and contracted coronavirus last March, said that he failed to pass a pair of virus tests before Gov. Hochul’s State of the State speech and would isolate at home in Albany.
“I underwent two rapid COVID-19 tests which did not come back clear,” Heastie, 54, said in a statement, adding that he was awaiting the result of a follow-up PCR test, which ultimately came back positive.
The Bronx representative, who received a booster shot, said he was not experiencing symptoms. He urged New Yorkers to take advantage of vaccines and tests.
Hochul delivered her first State of the State address to a largely empty Assembly Chamber as New York battles stratospheric COVID case numbers. The week-long statewide test positivity rate sat at 22% as of Tuesday, according to the governor’s office.
The governor began her speech on Wednesday by addressing Heastie.
“We do hope that Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie gets well soon,” Hochul said.