Minnesota Senate employee has coronavirus, others told to quarantine

A Minnesota Senate employee has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Senate secretary told staffers and members in a Wednesday morning email.

All staff and senators who came in contact with the person have been advised to self-quarantine, Secretary Cal Ludeman wrote.

Rachel Aplikowski, a spokeswoman for the majority Republican caucus, said she did not know how many staffers and senators had been told to quarantine. No other information would be shared about the infected person, Aplikowski said.

The positive case comes as lawmakers are scrambling to finish key priorities and coronavirus-related bills before the mandatory May 18 adjournment date.

Both the House and Senate have moved to virtual committee meetings amid the pandemic. Both chambers are holding floor sessions with some members present, though many lawmakers are voting from home or other locations. 

In March, a House employee was presumed positive for the virus, which caused a temporary closure of the State Office Building, which holds House offices.

Wednesday morning, Minnesota reported 30 new deaths attributed to COVID-19--a new daily high--as the state's death toll from the disease rises to 485.