A high-ranking Republican in the New Hampshire House of Representatives said she contracted COVID-19, less than a week after the House speaker died of the disease.
Kimberly Rice, of Hudson, said on Facebook that she is “feeling horrible” and struggling to breathe but vowed to beat the virus. “This has been one of the toughest weeks I think I’ve ever had,” she wrote in a post on Saturday.
Rice was recently appointed to one of the leading positions in the House.
Her announcement follows the unexpected death of Dick Hinch, who was sworn in Dec. 2 as leader of the state’s 400-member, Republican-led Legislature. A medical examiner ruled that he died of COVID-19.
More than a quarter of House members, most of them Democrats, skipped the swearing-in ceremony after learning the day before that several Republican lawmakers had tested positive for the virus after attending a Nov. 20 indoor meeting.
Rice did not say where she may have been exposed to the virus.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency declaration for another three weeks on Friday, citing an increase in infections across the state in recent weeks.