BOSTON (SHNS) – Another House employee who was in the State House as recently as Tuesday has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email sent by House Speaker Robert DeLeo to legislators and staff.
The email, a copy of which was obtained by the News Service, indicates the employee is in quarantine, but asymptomatic and had no close contacts with any other House lawmakers or staff.
DeLeo said the employee also was not in the State House last week during formal sessions on Tuesday and Thursday when the House debated its version of the annual state budget, with most members participating remotely.
After those debates, at least two legislators present for the Thursday session tested positive for COVID-19. Three House members, one senator and a handful of legislative staff have reported testing positive for COVID-19 over the last two weeks, though several have not set foot on Beacon Hill in weeks, if not months.
DeLeo said all offices used by this most recent employee to test positive will be cleaned before anyone can return to those spaces. The Senate debated its fiscal 2021 budget plan over two days this week that brought many members and staff to the building, and for the first time a branch deployed rapid antigen tests for anyone planning to be in the chamber for debate.
“We urge all members and employees to continue to wear face coverings and to practice consistent social distancing as well as to be attuned to the self-care and precautionary measures that the CDC has recommended,” DeLeo wrote. “Please remember that only those staff whose positions are essential to the discharge of House operations, including sessions of the House, should be physically at the State House.”