As of Friday morning, there were at least 10 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among House representatives, House staff, and Senate staff, according to the House Democratic leader’s office. KBOI reported that at least six House lawmakers had tested positive for Covid-19.
Democratic state lawmakers criticized their Republican colleagues for not taking proper precautions to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 so the legislature could continue with its work.
“We could have met remotely or worn masks and distanced reliably but no, we go home now and stop doing the peoples business,” Democratic state Sen. David Nelson tweeted.
CNN has reached out to Bedke’s office for additional comment.
The Idaho House and Senate’s Democratic leaders said Friday that they “hope our colleagues are able to heal quickly and return, so we can finish the session.”
“But we can’t help but be disappointed in how bad things have become at the Capitol, when we could’ve prevented this from becoming a hot spot all along,” House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel and Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett said in a joint statement.
Rubel told KBOI that lawmakers work in close spaces and very few of them wear masks, so it “seemed inevitable that this would happen.” She added that Democrats had previously advocated for “much more robust precautions” and even postponing the session until lawmakers could get vaccinated.
Rubel and Stennett warned Friday that the legislature “must do better when we return, or else we’ll keep finding ourselves in this position.”