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Four people tested positive for COVID-19 out of the more than 200 tested at the Missouri Capitol in recent days, but the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the cases are not evidence of any clustering, outbreak or transmission inside the Capitol.
Meanwhile, a total of at least eight Missouri House of Representatives employees have tested positive for the disease since mid-July.
DHSS offered free and voluntary COVID-19 testing to Capitol workers on select dates ahead of and during the special legislative session that's underway — July 22-23, July 27-28 and Aug. 3.
In all, 228 people were tested, according to DHSS spokeswoman Lisa Cox.
The special session began July 27, though the House of Representatives and Senate have not convened for business every day since.
Cox said Thursday that contact tracing of the four people found to be positive is being handled by the health departments with jurisdiction in the cities or counties where the patients live.
She said the Cole County Health Department would only be involved if Cole County residents were tested — at least one was — and the health department would be notified of positive or negative results.
Of the four positive cases, Cox said there was no clustering of the cases within a specific type of area or areas in the Capitol.
She added there was no evidence of an outbreak or community transmission inside the Capitol.
Chief Clerk of the House Dana Rademan Miller announced July 15 that two House employees had COVID-19.
Miller said Thursday that a total of eight House employees had tested positive. "Some of the individuals have made a full recovery and others are still in quarantine at this time. There may be other employees or members who have tested positive of whom we are not aware."
Neither Miller nor Cox knew if the four positive cases out of the 228 tested recently are separate from those further six infected House staff beyond the two announced last month.
That means at least eight to 12 people who work at the Capitol have tested positive for COVID-19.
Senate Administrator Patrick Baker said Thursday: "To the best of my knowledge, no Senate staff have been infected by COVID-19."
The two House employees whose infections were announced last month self-quarantined at home, as did people who had come into direct contact with them, according to Miller's previous announcement.
Visitors to the Capitol during special session are having their temperature taken and being screened with health questions.
Last month's announcement about two House employees being infected also advised people currently working in the Capitol to continue to practice social distancing and wear a face mask in public areas or when interacting with people in the building.
DHSS did not have any further community testing events scheduled as of Thursday, though a list of other Missouri testing sites is available at health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/mobile-testing.php.