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After COVID-19 diagnosis, Del. Sam Rasoul of Roanoke urges vigilance: 'Please be mindful'

After COVID-19 diagnosis, Del. Sam Rasoul of Roanoke urges vigilance: 'Please be mindful'

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Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, distributed masks to residents at Melrose Towers in Roanoke in May. Rasoul and his wife tested positive for the coronavirus after a vacation with relatives.

ROANOKE — One of Roanoke’s delegates to the Virginia General Assembly is on the mend after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

“It was dicey the first few days,” Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, said Tuesday.

Rasoul, 39, said he’s fairly sure that he caught the coronavirus from a family member who was not displaying any symptoms.

Rasoul, his wife and three children went on a vacation with some relatives about two weeks ago. He said one of his relatives took a coronavirus test, but that person didn’t get the results back before the family road trip started.

“I think where I let my guard down is we weren’t careful around a couple of family members, and it turns out one of them had it,” Rasoul said.

Rasoul said his family’s situation highlights the problem with testing, especially the delayed results.

By the time that asymptomatic relative heard back about testing positive, Rasoul and others started exhibiting symptoms. Rasoul said his wife also tested positive, and the family’s pediatrician said it should be assumed the three children also had it. None of them had to be hospitalized.

“I had difficulty breathing, which was scary,” Rasoul said. “You don’t know what kind of turn it’ll take, whether it’s mild or will go in a bad direction. Fortunately, it was mild.”

Rasoul said he wants his story to serve as a warning to people about being careful around friends and family.

“Clearly the fatigue of not being able to interact with family got to us, and we paid for that,” Rasoul said. “If anyone can learn from our mistake, it’s to please be mindful. Where you let your guard down isn’t at the grocery store, but being with friends and family.”

In April, Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond, said she and several family members were recovering from the coronavirus.

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