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Dauphin County state representative had coronavirus, kept case private during isolation

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A Dauphin County legislator tested positive for the coronavirus, kept his case private and is now fully recovered, he said Wednesday.

Republican Rep. Andrew Lewis of Lower Paxton Township represents the 105th House District, which includes Lower Paxton, South Hanover and West Hanover townships. He was elected in November 2018.

“Throughout this pandemic, our health officials have reminded us that it is likely many of us will contract COVID-19 and suffer mild, flu-like symptoms. On Monday, May 18, I was tested for COVID-19 and on Wednesday, May 20, I was notified that my test came back positive,” he said in a press release. “I immediately began self-isolation protocol and contacted the House of Representatives, and our caucus Human Resources department. My last day in the Capitol was Thursday, May 14.”

He continued: “We worked together and followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s workplace exposure guidelines to determine exactly who I may have been in contact with, and who I may have possibly exposed to the virus.

“I can confirm every member or staff member who met the criteria for exposure was immediately contacted and required to self-isolate for 14 days from their date of possible exposure.

“Out of respect for my family, and those who I may have exposed, I chose to keep my positive case private. Now that I have fully recovered and completed the quarantine as required by the Department of Health, I feel now is the appropriate time to share this information with the public and my constituents, and I look forward to being a resource in sharing my experiences with COVID-19 and helping our community navigate this crisis together.”

It is not clear where he might have contracted the virus.

“I feel very fortunate to report I suffered only mild symptoms, a fever that lasted roughly 24 hours, and a brief cough. I feel completely fine and I look forward to fully resuming my duties to the people of the 105th District.”

According to his biography on his website, Lewis is a decorated combat veteran who led the operations of his family construction business as chief operating officer before running for the House.

After graduating high school — and before joining the family construction business — he enlisted in the Army and served for almost 10 years on active duty, including 15 months in Iraq as a scout during the troop surge in 2007-08. He was selected to become an Army counterintelligence agent and was assigned to South Korea for a two-year tour, his biography states.

At age 23, he was appointed special agent in charge of his counterintelligence team in Korea, overseeing all counterintelligence operations for his assigned area. 

After two years in Korea, he was nominated by the Department of Defense to serve at the White House Communications Agency, where he served as both an assistant presidential communications officer, and as chief of the agency’s Information Security Branch. 

He continues to serve in the Pennsylvania National Guard. He put himself through college on the GI Bill, according to his online biography, and holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Thomas Edison State College, a graduate certificate in public policy from Liberty University, a master’s degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University, and a master of business administration from Temple University.

He and his wife, Ranae, have three sons: Jeffrey, Jason and Jeremy. 

Lewis, 32, is unopposed in the June 2 primary. Brittney Rodas, 24, of West Hanover Township, a policy research analyst for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, is the only Democrat running, so they will square off in November.