Coronavirus Outbreak In California Assembly Delays Legislative Session

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 9: The California state Capitol building is shown October 9, 2003 in downtown Sacramento, California. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won in his bid to replace California Gov. Gray Davis, who wa... SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 9: The California state Capitol building is shown October 9, 2003 in downtown Sacramento, California. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won in his bid to replace California Gov. Gray Davis, who was recalled in a special election October 7. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 7, 2020 9:06 a.m.

Legislative hearings will be delayed in California after a coronavirus outbreak in the Legislature, put the state Assembly’s return to work from a scheduled summer recess on pause indefinitely.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) made the announcement after Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D) and four others who work in the state capitol tested positive for the coronavirus, which is suspected to have spread as staffers and legislators met in Sacramento to pass the budget last month. The capitol is now closed for disinfecting, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Burke said in a tweet Monday that she was informed of likely “mask-to-mask” exposure to COVID-19 when the Assembly conducted its meeting in person. She tested positive for the virus on Saturday.

“Currently, my daughter and I have no symptoms, but will be remaining in quarantine until released by a doctor,” Burke wrote in the tweet. 

The news comes as California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) confirmed on Monday that the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has increased in the state by more than 50 percent over the past two weeks as infections continue to rise and he reverses plans for the reopening of many businesses.

Many state legislatures had closed their doors earlier this year as the pandemic began to spread across the United States. California lawmakers, missed nearly two months of work  after the legislature’s first unscheduled recess in 158 years, according to the Associated Press. Since then many states have allowed legislatures to resume work with some restrictions to limit the virus’ spread.

California lawmakers were originally scheduled to return from summer recess on July 13 and work through to the end of the legislative session on August 31.

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