6 positive COVID-19 cases reported at the Roundhouse | KOB 4

6 positive COVID-19 cases reported at the Roundhouse

6 positive COVID-19 cases reported at the Roundhouse

Chris Ramirez
Updated: January 29, 2021 06:11 PM
Created: January 29, 2021 04:35 PM

SANTA FE, N.M.- As of Friday, six positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. 

Timeline of cases, according to the Speaker of the House:

  • January 16 - Two State Police officers tested positive prior to the session beginning
  • January 18, 21, 26 - Staff members tested positive
  • January 27 - GOP lawmaker notified House leadership that he was positive for the virus

The Republican state representative was tested inside the Roundhouse. 

"He was and is asymptomatic, and he is doing quite well," said House Minority Leader Rep. Jim Townsend.

House GOP leadership asked Republicans to do their businesses from home Friday, and stay away from the Capitol. 

Democratic Speaker of the House Brian Egolf shut the House floor down, and closed all committee rooms to all House members, limiting them to their private offices.  

Egolf claims Republicans have acted irresponsibly by holding an unmasked catered lunch and violating COVID-safe practices.

"What I have observed is that certain members of the Republican Party do not adhere to COVID-safe practices in any meaningful way," Egolf said. "I am constantly reminding members to put on a mask, have the mask cover their nose and mouth."

Townsend claims Egolf is politicizing the issue.

"One of out of six, there have six positives is what I've been told," he said. "One of those has been a House member, one. The Speaker has insinuated that all of this is because of the House, and that is absolutely not true. I will tell you that my members will be respectful and continue to participate in screen processes."

Townsend claims there was no catered lunch. Instead, he said another GOP lawmaker picked up lunch, and they did eat without masks, which is allowed under the governor's public health order.

It's not clear why the disclosure of the positive cases took so long.

KOB 4 has been informed that those who have been exposed to the lawmaker and the positive staff members have been told to quarantine.

Egolf said if lawmakers break the Capitol's COVID safety rules, they can be referred to the state's Ethics Commission to be investigated.

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