Two Democratic House staffers test positive for COVID-19

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two Idaho Democratic House staffers tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, including one who had contact with House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel earlier in the day.

House and Senate Democratic spokeswoman Olivia Heersink said one staff member immediately left the Statehouse after getting the positive result. She said the other staffer had last been in the Statehouse on Tuesday morning.

She said both staffers followed social distancing guidelines and wore masks consistently.

Rubel said she and other Democrats planned to get tested Friday for the virus. She said she and the infected staffer were both wearing masks and social distancing when they had contact Thursday morning.

“We all try to do the best we can in terms of masking and distancing, but we are all working in fairly close quarters here,” she said.

She said one of the staffers didn’t have symptoms but the other did.

Republicans reported that staffers in the House and Senate tested positive last month.

Lawmakers have put in place contingency plans for how to proceed if lawmakers start getting sick with the virus.

Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke didn’t immediately respond to a text message sent by The Associated Press.

Most Democratic representatives and senators consistently wear masks, while many Republican representatives and senators do not.