COVID-19 positive test reported at Nevada Legislature
Someone who works in the Nevada legislative building has tested positive for the coronavirus as lawmakers debate emergency measures involving the pandemic, an official said Friday.
The announcement by Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Brenda Erdoes came as statehouses throughout the country, including Mississippi, North Carolina and California, are confronting outbreaks.
“Even though the person is asymptomatic and feeling well, they will not be returning to the Legislative Building,” Erdoes wrote in an email to Nevada lawmakers. She didn’t identify the individual who tested positive.
Precautions had been taken in the Assembly and Senate before Nevada’s part-time Legislature converged on Carson City. Staffers cordoned off couches, set up hand sanitizer stations and erected plastic barriers to separate lawmakers from each other.
The Legislature does not intend to recess or transition to remote voting, but alternative arrangements will be made for lawmakers who feel at risk. Meanwhile, access has been restricted the building.
If anyone is uncomfortable being in the building, “they will be allowed to work remotely or provided with additional protective options,” Erdoes said.
The Legislature convened Wednesday for an emergency special session to rebalance the state budget amid a projected $1.2 billion revenue shortfall.
The Nevada National Guard, in conjunction with county health officials, offered testing to lawmakers before the start of the session and have conducted temperature screenings of everyone entering the building since Wednesday.
Health officials will begin a contact tracing investigation to determine whether individuals need additional screening.