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No COVID test for Kansas governor after lawmaker is positive

November 10, 2021 GMT
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly wears an axe pin on her lapel to symbolize her plan to eliminate the state's 6.5% sales tax on groceries during a news conference, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in the produce section of a Dillons grocery in Topeka, Kan. Kelly is in a strong enough position financially to be able to provide the tax relief. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly wears an axe pin on her lapel to symbolize her plan to eliminate the state's 6.5% sales tax on groceries during a news conference, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in the produce section of a Dillons grocery in Topeka, Kan. Kelly is in a strong enough position financially to be able to provide the tax relief. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly wears an axe pin on her lapel to symbolize her plan to eliminate the state's 6.5% sales tax on groceries during a news conference, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in the produce section of a Dillons grocery in Topeka, Kan. Kelly is in a strong enough position financially to be able to provide the tax relief. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly dropped plans to take a rapid COVID-19 test Wednesday even though a state lawmaker who attended one of her public events tested positive.

Kelly’s office issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that she received medical advice that a test wasn’t necessary because she wasn’t showing any symptoms and had not been in close contact with the infected lawmaker, Democratic state Rep. John Alcala, of Topeka.

Kelly spokesperson Sam Coleman had said earlier that the governor had decided to get tested upon learning that Alcala had tested positive after attending a Kelly news conference Monday at a north Topeka grocery. Kelly announced a proposal for eliminating the state’s sales tax on food.

Kelly felt confident enough about her COVID-19 status that she went shopping Wednesday with a Leavenworth-area mother and her 10-year-old daughter to help promote the tax proposal. Kelly had been vaccinated and expects to get her booster shot later this week.

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During Monday’s event, Kelly was masked most of the time, including when she interacted with lawmakers and shoppers.

Alcala said Wednesday that he’d tested negative before the event, then positive later after a cough returned. He said his COVID-19 case is mild and he had no contact with Kelly.

The governor tested negative for COVID-19 in August 2020 after Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. disclosed that he’d been hospitalized for an infection about two weeks before a meeting of Kelly and legislative leaders. Ryckman said a doctor had cleared him to attend.

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Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna