Alaska House cancels regular floor session after ‘large portion’ of members exposed to COVID

A meeting room where many people are in masks.
The Alaska House of Representatives is largely empty during a technical session on Feb. 2, 2022 due to many of its members being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday in the Capitol. (Screen capture of Gavel Alaska)

Leaders of the Alaska House of Representatives canceled a regular floor session on Wednesday due to concerns about COVID-19.

House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, said in a statement that a “large portion” of representatives were exposed to COVID-19 over the prior 24 hours. She said contact tracing is ongoing and the decision to cancel the meeting was made “in an abundance of caution.”

A spokesperson for the House majority caucus said that roughly half of the House members were close contacts of a positive case.

As of Wednesday morning, the Legislature’s testing contractor was still determining who had to quarantine, based on their vaccination status, according to the spokesperson.

The House instead held a technical session Wednesday without normal legislative business. 

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Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at akitchenman@alaskapublic.org.

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