An employee of the Massachusetts House of Representatives tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email House Speaker Robert DeLeo sent to members and staff Wednesday morning.
The speaker's office confirmed to the News Service that DeLeo alerted the House that an employee received a presumptive positive result for the coronavirus-caused illness. DeLeo did not identify the employee — citing state and federal restrictions on confidential health information — their office or job title, or when the test result came back, but he said they began sick leave on Thursday.
"Specific offices/office suites which this employee visited prior to commencing sick leave on March 12th have been notified, and those offices (as well as the affected employee's work area) will receive a comprehensive environmental cleaning before members and employees will be permitted to return to those spaces," DeLeo wrote in his letter. "If you have not been notified that the affected employee visited your office prior to the affected employee commencing sick leave on March 12, 2020, then we have no reason to believe that the affected employee visited your office/office suite."
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DeLeo said any representative or employee who had close contact with the person who tested positive would be contacted by the state Department of Public Health or their local Board of Health with instructions on what to do.
A DeLeo spokeswoman could not be reached for immediate comment Wednesday.
The speaker and Senate President Karen Spilka said on Monday they decided to close the State House to the public to limit the spread of the virus, which has infected 218 Massachusetts residents as of Tuesday afternoon.