MN House leaders confirm COVID-19 case

Minnesota State House representatives stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Minnesota State House representatives stood for the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the legislative session on Feb. 11, 2020, at the State Capitol in St. Paul.
Anthony Souffle | Star Tribune via AP file

Minnesota House leaders said Wednesday that they have a case of COVID-19 within their ranks.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, said an individual who works for the Minnesota House of Representatives has a presumed case of COVID-19.

She did not say if the person is a legislator or a member of the staff. Citing health privacy laws, Hortman said she would not disclose any additional information.

A human resources letter to staff said it was possible that employees working at the State Office Building and the Capitol may have been exposed.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, said efforts are underway to identify people who may have come in contact with the employee.

“Not everyone who works at the House is exposed to a wide variety of people, and in this case we believe it is a relatively limited number,” Winkler said.

Winkler noted that the House had already implemented new work procedures aimed at protecting employees and is following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines to protect employees. He said the case will not get in the way of passing legislation.

“The House of Representatives has been operating as though we could have community transmission already,” he said.

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