DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Officials with Dallas-based Southwest Airlines have confirmed that company CEO Gary Kelly has tested positive for COVID-19.

The airline issued a statement that said:

“Although testing negative multiple times prior to the Senate Commerce Committee Hearing, Gary tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home, experiencing mild symptoms, and taking a PCR test. Gary is doing well and currently resting at home, he has been fully vaccinated and received the booster earlier this year. Gary’s symptoms continue to be mild, and each day he is moving closer to a full recovery.”

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Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines, from left, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, and Scott Kirby, president of United Airlines, during a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 15, 2021. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Kelly appeared without a mask at a Senate hearing on December 15, along with the CEOs of United and Fort Worth-based American Airlines. Addressing lawmakers, he argued for a lifting of the onboard mask mandate.

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During the Senate Commerce Committee Hearing, Kelly said, “I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much if anything in the air cabin environment.”

Requests for the health status of the CEOs of American and United had not been answered at publishing.

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Kelly, 71, is set to step down from his chief executive position at the airline next year.

CBSDFW.com Staff