The Capitol building in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)
A total of three employees in Pennsylvania’s state Senate have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, including two who work in the same office, emails reviewed by the Capital-Star show.
The news comes the same week that all eight employees in the Senate Secretary’s office were forced to quarantine after one of them tested positive for the disease.
Senators learned about that case Monday night in an email from Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, the Capital-Star previously reported.
On Wednesday, Senate Democrats received an email from their Human Resources Department informing them that a second employee in the Secretary’s Office had contracted COVID-19.
A third email, sent by Democratic caucus’ HR office just after 6 p.m. on Friday evening, notified lawmakers that a Senate Security guard had also been sickened.
The Senate Secretary’s Office and the chamber’s security force are both under the purview of the Senate’s majority Republican Caucus.
Scarnati’s spokeswoman, Kate Flessner, confirmed the new cases Friday night, and said both new patients have been quarantining away from the Capitol building since Sept. 4.
Anyone who may have had direct contact with the patients was notified in keeping with the Senate’s COVID-19 Workplace Exposure Protocol, she said.
Flessner added that Senate offices and workspaces in the Capitol are cleaned daily, and that the Senate floor is regularly sanitized for the safety of lawmakers and staff.
Senate Democratic Spokeswoman Brittany Crampsie confirmed that the Republican caucus informed her office of the two most recent cases immediately after learning about them. Senate Democrats then alerted their members, she said.
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