BOSTON (SHNS) – A House employee who was last in the State House on Friday tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email from the branch’s Human Resources Department.
Human Resources Director Katherine Palmer advised members and staff Monday morning of the positive case and said all close contacts had been notified. “We urge all members and staff to continue to practice consistent social distancing and to be attuned to the self-care and precautionary measures recommended by the CDC,” Palmer wrote in the email, which was obtained by the News Service. “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 at this point.”
The positive case follows reports of at least two COVID-19 cases within the House in September. Palmer notified the branch at the start of this month that a House employee who had last been in the building on Sept. 23 had tested positive for COVID-19. Another House employee tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the month.
The State House remains closed to the public and the Legislature continues to conduct most of its business remotely. The House adopted a vaccine mandate for all members and staff last month and a mandate was also put in place by Senate President Karen Spilka. Plans to reopen the State House in phases remain vague.
The state reported 1,512 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Twelve new deaths brought the overall reported death toll from the virus to 18,429. The seven-day test positivity rate is 2.05 percent.