Republican lawmaker banned from Alaska Airlines over mask rules tests positive for COVID

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An Alaska state lawmaker who was banned from Alaska Airlines flights after allegedly refusing to comply with the airline’s policies on face masks has tested positive for COVID-19.

Alaska state Sen. Lora Reinbold shared on Facebook on Tuesday, "Its my turn to battle Covid head on... game on! Who do you think is going to win?"

The lawmaker, a Republican who has criticized COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates, shared in her post that she is taking vitamins and aspirin, among other treatments.

The lawmaker Reinbold added that she is “blessed to have gotten" ivermectin. Though some limited studies have suggested that ivermectin could help treat COVID-19, more rigorous research has not found a widespread impact.

“I will update you in a few days. I plan to keep my promise to stay OUT of the hospital- some of them seem like scary places these days,” Reinbold added on Facebook.

The lawmaker on Thursday shared on Facebook that she has a "very mild cough," and her fever and muscle aches have subsided.

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Travel: Alaska lawmaker Lora Reinbold banned from Alaska Airlines over mask rules

Alaska Airlines confirmed to USA TODAY in April that Reinbold was banned from the airline’s flights “for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy.”

Reinbold in a Facebook post at the time said she was "reasonable" with employees and she asked about a “mask exemption.” She also claimed that she wore a face shield while checking in and wore a mask during her flight.

Earlier in April, she was recorded in Juneau International Airport arguing with Alaska Airlines staff about their mask policies. A video on social media appeared to show staff telling the lawmaker that her mask must cover her mouth and nose.

Alaska Airlines last month confirmed that Reinbold’s suspension has not changed. Reinbold has alleged that the ban is political.

The lawmaker was granted an excusal from the state Senate in September, citing challenges traveling to Juneau from Anchorage. The lawmaker said she was unaware of any other airline scheduled to fly between the two cities at least until January.

Earlier this year, Reinbold was removed as the state's Senate Judiciary Committee Chair. The committee change was approved 17-1, with Reinbold the only no vote.

Federal officials require all passengers to wear face coverings on flights and while in airports.

Alaska has reported over 120,000 total COVID-19 cases among residents since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data from the state.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alaska Airlines: Lawmaker banned from flights tests positive for COVID

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