CHICAGO (CBS) — Late Wednesday night, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan called on everyone who attended the special session of the Illinois General Assembly last weekend to get tested for the coronavirus or go into a two-week quarantine.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the call to get tested came after the lawmakers may have been exposed while in session – to someone who is now positive. It is another sign, some in the General Assembly say, that we must move with caution.
When the Illinois Legislature met for a special session, there was no doubt the coronavirus was still on many minds. Now, word comes an employee who works at the Bank of Springfield Center, where the state House met, tested positive.
State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester) was one of the 177 legislators who received a message informing them of the exposure.
“What we received today was consistent with messages before we went to Springfield, while we were in Springfield, and now,” Welch said. “I was tested before we ever went to Springfield. I was tested Friday evening by the Illinois Department of Public Health, along with a number of colleagues.”
Madigan went on to advise that everyone who attended the special session get tested. While in session, downstate Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) was removed because he refused to wear a mask.
Bailey also filed a lawsuit against Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders, which he later dropped.
“The email we received today underscores why it was so important to have representative bailey removed at the beginning of session last week.
When a governor’s staff member tested positive, daily coronavirus briefings at the Thompson Center were done remotely as the Pritzker and Illinois Department of Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike went into 14-day quarantine. The briefings have returned to the Thompson Center and other state venues, and the employee is in good health and is back at work.