House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, stands for the National Anthem during the first legislative session in the State House since the proceedings were moved to the more spacious Augusta Civic Center, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, announced Friday that he is experiencing mild symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.

He is the latest prominent state politician to contract a so-called breakthrough case of COVID-19. The top two Democrats in the Maine Senate — Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash and Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic — tested positive last month and U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, contracted the virus in August.

In a statement, Fecteau said he got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier this year and that his office is getting in touch with close contacts. He said he will work from home and does not plan to return to the State House until he has fully recovered.

The rise of the more contagious delta COVID-19 variant has led to an increase in breakthrough cases, although they are still relatively rare. Roughly 13 percent of all Maine cases since people could be fully vaccinated have been breakthrough cases, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data. There were only 716 such cases before Aug. 6.


Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...