Fourth Senate employee tests positive for COVID-19

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    Another Pennsylvania state Senate employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the Capital-Star has learned, making it the fourth case to emerge in the chamber in the past eight days.

    Senate leaders were notified Tuesday that an employee on the security force had tested positive for the disease, said Kate Flessner, a spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, who oversees human resources and administration for the majority Republican caucus.

    The individual is the fourth Senate employee – and the second security guard – who has tested positive for COVID-19 since Labor Day weekend.

    The Capital-Star reported last week that the other two patients worked in the Senate Secretary’s office.

    It is unclear if the recent cases are the result of transmission in the state Capitol building.

    Flessner previously told the Capital-Star that the three employees who reported positive tests last week had not been in the Capitol since Sept. 4. But all eight employees in the Secretary’s office were forced to quarantine when the Senate returned to Harrisburg on Sept. 8.

    Flessner said Tuesday that anyone who has had contact with one of the patients will be notified under the Senate’s COVID-19 response policy, which calls for a team of Human Resources administrators to keep the identity of patients confidential while they perform contact tracing for each disclosed case.