SACRAMENTO (AP) – Some California lawmakers, including Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, missed Thursday’s legislative session after attending a party with a lawmaker who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
Rendon, who has since tested negative, asked anyone who attended Tuesday’s party to stay home rather than attend the session, spokeswoman Katie Talbot said in a statement. State health guidelines do not require those vaccinated and boosted to self-isolate after possible exposure, but Rendon requested out of caution, she said.
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The event was a departure party for former MK Lorena Gonzalez, who announced on Monday that she was stepping down for a position with the California Federation of Labor, the Los Angeles Times reported. The party was held at a downtown Sacramento hotel.
Twenty-seven assembly members missed Thursday’s session, but some were absent for other reasons, The Times reported. This is the first week in the legislature since September and no major votes have taken place. The chamber has traditionally had 80 members, although a handful of seats are vacant due to mid-term resignations.
Democratic Senator Josh Becker was the lawmaker who tested positive for the virus, which he announced on Twitter Wednesday morning. He is vaccinated, boosted and wore an N95 mask, he told The Times. Gonzalez tweeted Thursday that she tested negative and wore an N95 mask when not eating or drinking.
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Talbot said she did not know how many Coven members attended the event and how many were invited to stay home. The next sitting day is Monday, and Assembly members will have to complete tests before being allowed to speak, she said.
Senate Secretary Erika Contreras said in a statement that all senators present at the rally for Gonzalez were ordered to self-quarantine for five days and then take a PCR coronavirus test. Eight of 40 senators were absent from Thursday’s sitting, although Contreras said the absences could also be due to personal or professional reasons. Among those absent was Republican State Senator Scott Wilk; he announced on Monday that he had tested positive for the virus the day before.
The office of Senate Speaker Pro Tem Toni Atkins did not immediately respond to an email asking how many senators were absent on Thursday due to the protocol.
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