Confirmed Virus Instances Rising Amongst Missouri Legislators – Information – Aurora Advertiser – Aurora, MO

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Missouri Legislature continues to rise after lawmakers gathered at the Capitol to begin their annual session.

JEFFERSON CITY – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Missouri Legislature continues to rise after lawmakers meet at the Capitol to begin their annual session.

Four other lawmakers told The Associated Press on Friday that they had contracted the virus, bringing the total to at least seven since the January 6 session began. The outbreak is among the larger ones reported as state lawmakers across the country work on it this month.

The house canceled all work this week because of the virus. The Senate continued to meet.

Senator Andrew Koenig was among those who confirmed they had the disease on Friday. The St. Louis County Republican tabled legislation during a lengthy Senate committee hearing on Wednesday proposing cracking down on public health regulations that limit the number of people who can gather in homes, businesses and places of worship. Koenig was also present at the brief session of the Senate on Thursday.

Although Koenig said he believed he got the virus from his wife, some other lawmakers said they likely found it in the Capitol.

“We were sworn in with people from all over the state this week earlier. I’d say there’s a pretty good chance,” said Rep. Jeff Knight, a Republican from Lebanon, who said he had just completed his isolation period after he tested positive for COVID -19.

With hundreds of people working at the Capitol, “unfortunately it had to happen,” said Rep. Dan Houx, a Warrensburg Republican who contracted the virus last week.

Springfield Republican MP Craig Fishel said he tested positive for COVID-19 after the first week of the legislature, but he doesn’t view its spread among lawmakers as anything other than what’s going on in communities across the country. He is ready for the house to go back to work.

“There are business we have to take care of,” said Fishel.

At least 19 Missouri lawmakers have confirmed they have had COVID-19 at some point since last March, according to an AP tally. Nationwide, the AP counted around 300 legislators who tested positive for the virus.

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