Fully-vaccinated College Station lawmaker tests COVID-positive after Texas House mask order lifted

State Rep. John Raney, R-College Station, has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office confirmed Thursday night.

The lawmaker tested positive Thursday morning before heading to the House floor and was not exhibiting symptoms, which was first reported by The Dallas Morning News. Raney, who has been fully vaccinated since February, "went home immediately and, as of this evening, is doing well," his office said in a statement.

The video above is from an April 2021 report on the impact of the lifted COVID-19 protocols in Texas.

The news comes almost a week after House members voted 99-46 to lift its mask mandate while in the chamber and during committee hearings. That rule was part of broader COVID-19 protocols members adopted at the beginning of the 2021 legislative session in January. The Senate has also recently pulled down its mask requirement.

Raney, who was inside the chamber and committee hearing rooms this week, was excused for attendance on the House floor for the rest of the week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a "small percentage" of people who have been vaccinated can still contract COVID-19.

"These are called 'vaccine breakthrough cases,'" according to the CDC's website. "This means that while people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, it may still happen. Experts continue to study how common these cases are."

Average new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Texas have decreased since January, though health experts have continued advising people to keep wearing masks and to get vaccinated. The number of people fully vaccinated recently passed 25%, according to daily data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Raney's office said staff has tested negative for the virus and plans to work remotely for the time being.

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