Three state House reps contract COVID-19 in a week
Rep. Rick Carfagna. Source: Ohio General Assembly
A second state lawmaker in a week has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Monday morning memo from a ranking House Democrat, and a third case emerged later in the day.
Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, said in a letter to members and staff that a second House of Representatives member in a week contracted COVID-19. She did not identify the member but in an interview said he or she is not in the Democratic caucus.
According to Sykes, the unidentified positive case was in session and in committee.
“There continues to be no communication from the Speaker’s office and majority leadership alerting members or staff to the situation or how it is being handled,” she wrote.
Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, confirmed in an interview he also tested positive on Monday after symptoms set in Sunday.
He said he has been calling to notify members.
“I just wanted to make sure my colleagues were aware because I was down there from Monday to Friday,” he said.
One of the two mentioned in the Sykes memo is Rep. Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Twp., who tested positive on Thursday after attending floor sessions and committee hearings, he wrote in a Facebook post. She declined to identify the other case she’s aware of, citing the member’s right to privacy. However, she said the member is not a Democrat.
Taylor Jach, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Bob Cupp, did not respond to emails sent Monday morning regarding the newest case or Friday afternoon regarding Carfanga’s.
A panel of legislators is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon. The full General Assembly is scheduled for several days of committee hearings and floor sessions this week.
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