Rep. Brandon Ogles, who has been absent for more than two weeks worth of Tennessee House legislative sessions, is currently recovering from double pneumonia after testing positive for COVID-19 sometime in early-to-mid March, his office confirmed on Friday.
According to Ogles' legislative assistant Shelby Vannoy, Ogles has had continued breathing complications since the beginning of March, but plans to return "as soon as he is physically able."
Ogles' first request to be excused from House and committee hearings came during the second week of March, according to Vannoy, sometime between March 7-13. Nevertheless, according to state records, Ogles was present during a March 17 Civil Justice Committee hearing and a March 22 House legislative session.
Vannoy could not confirm the exact date as to when Ogles tested positive for COVID-19, and could only confirm that he was first requested to be excused from hearings between March 7-13, and that he had experienced breathing difficulties since "early March."
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends those who test positive for COVID-19 quarantine for a period of at least 10 days, and recommends a period of 20 days for those who are "severely ill with COVID-19."
Breathing difficulties are listed as a symptom by the CDC of being severely ill with COVID-19.
"His absences have been excused by the Speaker’s office, and he plans to return to the office when his health is back to 100%," Vannoy wrote in an email.
"During these uncertain times, he is ensuring that his health is a priority and focusing on getting better. I know that he has missed being at the office and hopes to return as soon as he is physically able."
This story was edited on 4/17/21 to correct an error in which the Home Page reported Ogles was present during a Mar. 29 House legislative session. Ogles was actually absent during this session and was not excused.