State Sen. Brian Jones, shown election night in November 2018, is a member of the Senate Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response. Photo by Chris Stone

State Sen. Brian Jones, the former Santee councilman and congressional candidate, revealed Wednesday that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

In Sacramento, the California Senate postponed a 10 a.m. floor meeting upon word that someone had become infected.

In mid-April, Jones was named with 10 others to the Senate Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response.

“I am ready to serve on this committee to review how we responded as a state to the COVID-19 pandemic and, more importantly, work to better prepare ourselves for any similar emergency we may face in the future,” he said.

On Twitter and Facebook, the Republican posted that upon his return to Sacramento this week for the end of session, he received news that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“He will be taking additional tests to recheck the results and to rule out possibility of a false-positive result,” his social media said. “In the meantime, he’ll be following CDC and CDPH protocols for those receiving a positive test result. Any further inquiries are to be directed to the Senate Pro Tem’s office.”

Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, the Senate pro tem, earlier promised the chamber “will use the tools available to us to make sure that we can complete necessary work prior to August 31.”

Jones was on the Senate floor Monday, wearing a face mask. He didn’t say when he was tested or if he was showing symptoms.

The Assembly was continuing to meet Wednesday afternoon.

The Senate has allowed members to vote remotely from their district offices on bills during committee hearings, but required senators to travel to Sacramento for floor sessions scheduled during the last two weeks, when final votes are cast.

Two Assembly members previously tested positive for the virus this summer, prompting a two-week extension of their regular recess in July.

In late May, Jones posted one of his regular “Are You Kidding Me” videos to YouTube on the topic “COVID-19 Government Overreach.”

“California has flattened the curve, and we’ve not seen out health facilities overwhelmed.  … Health officials now admit that over 90% of the death had a major underlying condition. Their death may or may not have been caused by COVID-19. Politicians exaggerating the extent of a crisis to keep a stranglehold on us. Are you kidding me?  I wish I wasn’t.”

Jones was elected in 2018 in the 38th Senate district. He is chair of the Senate Republican Caucus. Jones was a Santee City Council member from 2001 to 2010 then again from 2017 to 2018. Jones was the representative for the 71st Assembly District from 2010 to 2016.

“Jones grew up in the district and attended Santee Elementary, Cajon Park Middle School, and Santana High School,” his online bio says. “He continued his education at Grossmont College before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration at San Diego State University.”

Last March, just before the pandemic shutdown, Jones took fourth in the open primary to fill a vacant seat in the 50th Congressional District, formerly represented by Duncan D. Hunter.

Jones won 21,495 votes — or 10.6% of ballots — behind Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar (36.5%) and Republicans Darrell Issa (23.1%) and Carl DeMaio (19.9%).

Early this month, Jones joined Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) in an effort to have a floor vote ending Gov. Gavin Newsom’s emergency authority and the pandemic.

“The State of Emergency powers that were ceded by the Legislature to the Governor back in March were intended to be TEMPORARY,” Jones said at the time. “Unfortunately, during the last five months … Newsom exceeded this authority by signing billions of dollars in no-bid contracts for masks; issuing confusing, contradictory, and conflicting shutdown orders on hundreds of thousands of California businesses; and restricting Californians from using public beaches, parks, and attending religious services.”

On Aug. 13, Jones tweeted that California’s backlog of almost 300,000 COVID cases “means the data we’ve been hearing for weeks is inaccurate. More cases means a lower death & hospitalization rate. … Maybe COVID is less dangerous than the government is leading us to believe?”

Updated at 4:40 p.m. Aug. 26, 2020

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