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Positive COVID-19 case reported at Legislature’s special session

Updated July 10, 2020 - 4:07 pm

CARSON CITY — A person who attended the Nevada Legislature’s ongoing special session has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Brenda Erdoes said Friday.

“Recently, we learned that someone who has been in the building tested positive for the virus,” Erdoes wrote in an email to lawmakers.

Erdoes did not say if the person was a staff member or a lawmaker, but said the person is asymptomatic and “feeling well,” and added that they won’t be returning to the building.

Erdoes said that the state Department of Health and Human Services will be conducting contact tracing for the case.

Most people in the building have voluntarily been tested for the virus, Erdoes said.

It’s unclear how or if the positive case will affect the special session.

The Assembly was scheduled to convene at 9:30 a.m. to start the third day of the special session to address the state’s budget deficit. As of 3:30 p.m., the gavel still had not fallen.

The Senate had held floor sessions and a meeting of the committee of the whole, and as of 2:45 p.m. was back in session conducting bill hearings.

Erdoes noted the safety precautions that have been put in place inside the building to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We have been following CDC recommendations for cleaning, nearly everyone in the building is wearing a mask and, as an extra precaution, there are Plexiglas partitions in the chambers as well as other areas where Legislators, Staff or the Press are likely to be interacting,” Erdoes wrote,.

In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson noted the rule changes adopted at the beginning of the special session that allow for lawmakers to vote remotely, and said they will allow any lawmaker who doesn’t feel comfortable to work remotely.

Erdoes noted that similar allowances for remote work will be in place for any staff members of the Legislature or LCB who are uncomfortable with being in the building.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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