Skip to main content

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has COVID-19

Gazelka has had symptoms since last Monday.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has had COVID-19 symptoms for the past week and on Sunday he announced that he has tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

"Today I received confirmation of my positive covid test. I have been in quarantine since experiencing symptoms last Monday and will remain in quarantine as long as my doctor advises me to," Gazelka said in a statement. 

"I did not attend session on Thursday due to a scheduled trip, and we extended our trip to avoid breaking my quarantine. We followed CDC and airline requirements during our travel and I'm very thankful y wife, Maralee, has tested negative for covid." 

Though Gazelka's statement says he's had symptoms since last Monday, his team is now claiming that he didn't have symptoms when he left for a trip to Florida on Monday. 

Gazelka, who has opposed Gov. Tim Walz's executive powers that have most recently resulted in limits on social gatherings and closing indoor service at bars and restaurants by 10 p.m, said he hasn't had major issues with his symptoms and expects to fully recover. 

Gazelka and the GOP have been under fire after MPR reporter Brian Bakst shared a Tuesday memo from the Republican Senate caucus, which announced that "a number of (GOP) members and staff" had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The memo, which was apparently not sent to Democrats, instructed staffers to work from home and refrain from coming into the office, "even for Thursday's special session." 

Gazelka, 61, addressed the situation again in his Sunday statement, saying "no one was put at any more risk than any other special session." 

"The deliberate choice to use a covid diagnosis as a political tool to blame just Republicans when community spread is uncontrolled is indicative of failed leadership looking for a scapegoat." 

His statement is a direct response to Gov. Walz on Saturday criticizing Republicans for failing to inform Democrats of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying the decision put "staff and other senators at risk." 

Next Up

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

snow

3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 10.45.51 AM

Video: Inebriated Sheriff Dave Hutchinson after high-speed crash

Hutchinson was unaware of his location and repeatedly said he wasn't driving.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 20

A Mayo Clinic data scientists believes omicron may have already peaked in parts of Minnesota, though that reality won't show up in the reported cases until at least next week.

hospital, emergency room

2 dead, 1 critical after being found unconscious in garage

The men were believed to have been drinking together and possibly using drugs.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

2 teens suspected in 20 robberies arrested after police chase

They are suspects in 23 cases in three Twin Cities counties.

Dave Hutchinson

Hennepin Co. Sheriff was driving 125 mph before DWI crash, files reveal

Taken together, the files provide a clearer picture of what exactly happened the morning of Dec. 8.

Related

gazelka paul

Report: Gazelka refuses to reveal total COVID cases in GOP outbreak

The senate majority leader is under fire for his handling of the situation.

Paul Gazelka

Gazelka admits GOP could have handled its COVID outbreak differently

The Senate Majority Leader has been facing calls to resign for failing to inform DFL colleagues and non-partisan staff about positive cases in its Caucus.

paul gazelka

Gazelka's 'I've always said COVID-19 is serious' tweet raises eyebrows

The Senate Majority Leader has attracted plenty of attention for a Thursday tweet.

sen. david senjem

Minnesota Sen. David Senjem tests positive for COVID-19

He tested positive on Sunday and is quarantining at home.

paul gazelka

DFL calls on Gazelka to resign as more is revealed about GOP's COVID outbreak

The Senate Majority Leader is under pressure over the party's COVID-19 controversy.