FILE - Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams

Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams, D- Atlanta

(The Center Square) – Four Georgia state senators have confirmed they have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Sens. Kay Kirkpatrick, R-Marietta; Bruce Thompson, R-White; and Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, have revealed positive COVID-19 tests since Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, announced Wednesday he had tested positive.

Beach's positive COVID-19 test resulted in the entire Georgia General Assembly to be placed under quarantine orders because Beach showed up at the state Capitol on March 16 to vote on a public health declaration despite showing symptoms.

Thompson said Sunday he started having flu-like symptoms a week-and-a-half ago. He skipped the emergency session on the public health declaration March 16 and was hospitalized that day. He was released from the hospital Saturday, and his positive COVID-19 test was confirmed Sunday.

"Becky and I appreciate your prayers during all of this, and I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe during these uncertain and trying times," Thompson wrote on Facebook. "Thank you to the amazing health-care workers at Northside Cherokee who provided first class service."

Williams, who did attend the March 16 special session, developed a fever that night and was tested Thursday when a test was available. Her test result was confirmed Sunday.

"The positive COVID-19 test result was also a reminder that it’s not just 60+ year olds or people already sick that are testing positive," Williams wrote on Facebook. "You can get this, too."

Kirkpatrick announced Friday she had tested positive for COVID-19. She went into self quarantine March 14 after developing a fever and did not show up to the Capitol last week to vote on the declaration. She was tested March 15.

"Fortunately, it is a great time to be on my back porch," Kirkpatrick wrote on Facebook. "Although I am in the at-risk age group, I am blessed to be very healthy and thankful that I am recovering without complications."

The Georgia Department of Health on Monday reported 772 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, including 25 deaths.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus. The disease has caused at least 473 deaths in the U.S., with more than 35,200 confirmed cases in the country. COVID-19 symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.

Most people who have it develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually the elderly and those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Regional Editor

Jason Schaumburg is an award-winning, veteran editor who has been a journalist for more than 20 years. He spent a decade as the top editor in three northern Illinois newsrooms for Shaw Media and Pioneer Press.