COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)- As the coronavirus continues to spread through Ohio, lawmakers are now testing positive at the Ohio Statehouse.
In the past week four lawmakers have tested positive for the coronavirus. This comes as lawmakers try to move quickly with time running out on the lame duck session.
In a statement Majority Press Secretary Taylor Jach wrote:
“Over the last several days, two members of our caucus have received positive test results. It is not believed this is a result of exposure at the Statehouse. They are currently quarantining. Individuals who had close contact with them have been notified.”
Despite this, Rep. Kristin Boggs is concerned for her colleagues.
“We know that this is a highly infectious disease. We know that these members had contact with other members, and I think that we are going to see an increase in number of cases in the General Assembly,” said Rep. Kristin Boggs, (D) Columbus.
Democrats are calling for more safety precautions to be taken. They would like to see masks be mandated at the Statehouse and virtual testimony be allowed for committee meetings.
“I think people’s safety should come first, not only the legislator’s safety but also the people who want to come down and participate in the democratic process,” Rep. David Leland, (D) Columbus.
Jach told NBC4 that they are reducing the number of members in hearing rooms when possible and allowing witnesses to continue submitting written testimony for review.
The House cancelled the session scheduled for this week, and Jach explained that dealt with scheduling and not the coronavirus. On the other side of the Statehouse, the Senate cancelled Thursday’s session “out of an abundance of caution due to COVID.” Currently, they have not had any members test positive for the virus.