NO.alarioprofile.adv TS 347.jpg

Senate President John A. Alario, Jr., photographed Friday, June 28, 2019 in the State Capitol's Memorial Hall, which lies in between the House and Senate chambers. He has served in the Louisiana State Legislature since 1972. He was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972 to 2008 and was Speaker of the House twice. In 2007, he was elected to the Louisiana State Senate, and just finished serving his third term as a senator and his second term as the President of the State Senate. He is the second person in Louisiana and fourth in U.S. history to have been elected as both Speaker of his state House of Representatives and President of his state Senate. ORG XMIT: BAT1906281820020766

John Alario, the master of the state Senate over the past eight years, was back home in Westwego Tuesday after four days of being hospitalized for the coronavirus.

“I feel so much better than when I went in,” Alario said.

He added that he will be under quarantine for 7-10 days and will remain under a restricted diet. This means no muffaletta from Mo’s Pizza or Chicken a la Grande from Mosca’s – two favorite restaurants in Westwego.

Alario said no one in his family or at Alario Income Tax Service has been infected.

“I still don’t know how I got it,” Alario said, adding that he is encouraging everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Alario, 76, represented Westwego in the state House and Senate for 48 years before term limits sidelined him at the end of last year. No one has served longer in the Legislature’s history.

Alario served two terms as speaker of the House under then-Gov. Edwin Edwards as a Democrat and two terms as Senate president as a Republican, once under then-Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, and the other under Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat. No one else has served as speaker and president twice each in the state’s history.

Alario is only the latest current or former legislator to be infected.

Among current legislators: Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette; state Rep. Tony Bacala, R-Prairieville; and state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge.

Then-state Rep. Reggie Bagala, R-Cut Off, and former state Rep. Frankie Howard, R-Many, have died from the virus.

Louisiana has been one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus, although the New Orleans region has had lower infection levels that other parts of the state.

Email Tyler Bridges at tbridges@theadvocate.com.