Sixth positive coronavirus case reported at Iowa Capitol
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A sixth person working at the Iowa Capitol tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.
Iowa House Chief Clerk Meghan Nelson said in an email notification to lawmakers and staff that the individual was last in the building Feb. 2 and tested positive Monday. The individual reported wearing a face covering at all times.
The identity of positive cases is not routinely released by legislative branch officials, and Republican leaders have not required lawmakers to reveal a positive virus test so it’s not known if there have been undeclared cases.
Rep. Amy Nielsen of North Liberty confirmed she was among those infected in late January, marking the first known case of an Iowa lawmaker contracting the virus during the legislative session. She said she believes she was infected at the Capitol.
Republican leaders have not imposed a mask mandate, and House Speaker Pat Grassley requires House members to vote on bills and attend committee meetings in person to speak. Senate rules allow members to attend committees remotely.
The union representing state workers has filed a complaint with the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration, claiming the majority leaders’ policies create an unsafe workplace.