OK State Senate on lockdown after someone tests positive for COVID-19

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Less than 24 hours after Oklahoma lawmakers said they will continue with their session, the Senate is on lockdown after someone on the floor has tested positive for COVID-19.

Sources tell News 4 that either a Senator or a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 and officials are working to get all of those in the capitol tested.

Both the Senate and House held special meetings Monday to discuss how to deal with the growing coronavirus threat where legislative leaders announced that only lawmakers, essential staff, state employees and media will be allowed inside the Capitol.

Both bodies are in session today before breaking Wednesday through Friday as was originally scheduled for Spring Break.

“The Oklahoma Senate today learned that someone in the Senate has tested positive for COVID-19. While the risk to a majority of Senate personnel and senators remains low, per the recommendation and under the guidance of health officials, we are taking appropriate measures. In addition, beginning Wednesday, March 18, and through Friday, March 20, Senate offices will be closed and employees will work remotely during that time. The Senate will continue to operate and serve the citizens of the state of Oklahoma. We will continue working with other state officials, health care professionals, and agencies as state government addresses this public health crisis.” – Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City

Senator Kay Floyd, the Senate Minority Leader said Monday, “None look at this as a partisan or a non-partisan issue. This is a public health and we are deeply, deeply concerned about that.”

Lawmakers told News 4 they talked with health officials and feel they are still following guidelines as best they can. 

Both the House and Senate passed legislation Monday that would allow the whole legislature to adjourn for longer than three days if needed. A new provision would also allow House members to vote by proxy on big bills this session.

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