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COVID-19 Hits the Capitol
Diagnosis delays Oregon House floor sessions until next week

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) issued a statement today announcing that the Oregon Legislature learned that an individual who was present at the Capitol has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Potential exposure may have occurred on the floor of the Oregon House of Representatives on March 15 and March 16. This was confirmed by Jessica Knieling, Interim Human Resources Director at the Capitol. She said "We have been notified an individual who has been present at the Capitol has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are notifying those individuals who appear to have had close contact with the individual."

Human resources for the branch is notifying all individuals who appear to have had close contact with the individual. Due to HIPAA laws, no further information will be disclosed about the individual who tested positive.

After consulting with Marion County Public Health, the Legislature has been advised that all symptom-free individuals who were on the House Floor should quarantine for 10 days following the last exposure, which is through Friday, March 26. The House will not return to floor session until Monday, March 29, at the earliest. Committee work, which is being done remotely, will continue as planned.

Anyone who shows symptoms should be tested and quarantine for at least 14 days. Testing is also being encouraged for anyone who was on the House Floor. Facilities staff will fumigate the House chamber and wings today and continue to diligently, thoroughly and regularly clean the Capitol in line with the CDC’s guidance on environmental cleaning and disinfection.

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) said, “First and foremost, I hope that the individual who tested positive makes a speedy and full recovery. We all knew that this outcome was possible, which is why we have taken additional precautions since the start of this session to minimize risks for individuals who must be in the building.

"Out of an abundance of caution, my immediate recommendation is for legislators and staff to minimize the risk of an outbreak in Oregon’s capitol by returning home and quarantining for 10-14 days from the date of possible exposure per OHA’s recommended guidelines and schedule testing. There are several elected members from the House with underlying conditions who have not had the opportunity to vaccinate yet.

"We need to do everything we can to keep everyone safe in the building.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-22 16:02:34Last Update: 2021-03-22 22:01:20



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