Stutes: ‘Large portion’ of House members exposed to virus

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska House speaker said Wednesday that a “large portion” of state representatives had been exposed to COVID-19 and that plans for a formal floor session had been scuttled.

Speaker Louise Stutes, in a statement, said contact tracing was ongoing and that “in an abundance of caution” the House would hold a so-called technical session Wednesday, during which no formal business is taken up and for which attendance is not required.

The House on Monday tabled a proposal that would remove from legislative committees Republican Rep. David Eastman, who has said he joined the Oath Keepers far-right organization years ago. It wasn’t immediately clear when the matter might come up again.

The House did not meet for a floor session Tuesday.

Under a policy adopted by legislative leaders, face masks are required in the Capitol, regardless of vaccination status, though mask wearing in a lawmaker’s office is optional. Lawmakers and legislative staff also are to undergo testing at least every four days.