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Utah Rep. LaWanna Shurtliff hospitalized with breathing problems

Shurtliff, 85, tests negative for COVID-19, but diagnosed with pneumonia

Rep. LaWanna Shurtliff, D-Ogden
Utah Legislature

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah state lawmaker this week was hospitalized in an intensive care unit for breathing problems.

Rep. LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff, D-Ogden, was admitted to the McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden on Tuesday, according to a tweet posted by House Minority Leader Brian King on Wednesday.

King said she had tested negative for COVID-19 but had been diagnosed with pneumonia.

“Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers,” King wrote.

The Utah House Democratic Caucus issued a statement Wednesday sharing the news that Shurtliff, 85, was hospitalized.

“As our colleague and friend, we are obviously very concerned about her well-being,” the caucus statement said. “We wish her a quick and full recovery.”

Late Thursday evening, Shurtliff’s family issued a statement saying she remained in the intensive care unit, but was in “stable condition while still requiring the support of mechanical ventilation.”

“However, we are very happy to report that her condition has improved significantly,” the family statement said. “Lou’s doctors are hopeful that she’ll be able to come off the ventilator in the near future.”

Her family said Shurtliff’s medical team has “run multiple tests for COVID-19 and several other viruses, all of which have come back negative.”

“Although they have not identified the cause of the pneumonia or her illness, we are thrilled that she is doing so well and are hopeful about her ongoing recovery,” her family said. “Lou continues to fight this illness with the same tenacity she uses to fight for her family and community.”

Shurtliff’s family thanked her doctors for “their devoted care and compassionate service to both Lou and our family during this difficult time.”

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, tweeted Wednesday his “thoughts and prayers.”

“The doctors and nurses at McKay-Dee Hospital are taking great care of her,” Wilson tweeted. “I am grateful for their efforts and wish Lou a full and speedy recovery.”

Shurtliff, a retired teacher, serves Utah’s House District 10, which encompasses South Ogden and Washington Terrace in Weber County. Before she won another term to the seat this year, she served in the Legislature for nine years, from 1999 to 2008.