A staff member for the Maine House Republicans has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a memo to all State House workers sent Tuesday by the Legislature’s human resources director.

“We have learned that an employee in the House Republican Office who was in the State House last Thursday has since tested positive for COVID-19,” Human Resources Director Jackie Little said in the memo. “We send our friend and colleague our best wishes.”

The memo said the infected person did not have any close contacts with other State House staff, and it did not appear any other staff or lawmakers had been asked to quarantine.

Across the country, state legislatures have struggled to contain COVID-19 with more than 200 state lawmakers contracting the virus, according to an Associated Press report in November. In December, Dick Hinch, the Republican speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, contracted the virus and died one week after he had been sworn into office.

In Maine, at least one state lawmaker, Sen. Richard Bennett, R-Oxford, contracted the virus. Bennett has recovered and only experienced mild symptoms but the illness kept him from participating in the swearing-in ceremonies for lawmakers elected to the 130th Maine Legislature in December.


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