An employee in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, according to an internal email sent to Assembly staff on Wednesday.
The unidentified staffer was last in the state Capitol on Oct. 1 and was wearing a face covering at all times while in the workplace, the email said.
A spokesperson with the governor’s office said the person who tested positive “had not interacted with the Governor or staff that routinely interacts with the Governor.”
“As soon as our office was informed of this positive test, our Director of Operations informed all Governor’s Office staff of the case and initiated the state’s COVID-19 protocols for state agencies,” the spokesperson said. “We are working with the California Department of Public Health on contact tracing.”
Another state employee who “works in a shared workspace” with people from Newsom’s office also tested positive recently, according to the spokesperson. That person had no interactions with Newsom or people who work closely with him.
State protocols after an employee tests positive include deep cleaning of shared spaces and asking people in contact with the staff member to get tested and remain isolated, the office said.
In accordance with state guidelines, for the minimal amount of staff working in the governor’s office, mask wearing is mandated, the office said. Since the pandemic, most in-person meetings have been done over video conference, and seating capacity is reduced when meetings can't be done remotely.
This is not the first time employees in the Capitol have tested positive for COVID-19. In July, five Assembly staffers, including Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D – Inglewood), tested positive for the virus after coming in contact with another infected staffer.
In late August, days before the legislative session was set to wrap, Republican state senators were banned from the Capitol after convening days before with Sen. Brian Jones (R – Santee) who contracted the virus. The session wrapped with 10 of the 11 Republican senators debating and voting from home.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.