Another Arkansas Lawmaker Tests Positive for COVID-19

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas lawmaker on Wednesday tested positive for the coronavirus, the third to be infected since lawmakers convened this year’s session last week.

Rep. Lanny Fite said he has not had any symptoms and has been isolating at his home in Benton. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette first reported Fite tested positive.

Fite said he hasn’t been the Capitol since Jan. 13 and has been quarantining since Rep. Milton Nicks tested positive. Fite sits next to Nicks in the House chamber. 

At least 24 Arkansas lawmakers have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. Arkansas has had the second largest outbreak among state legislators, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

The House and Senate convened last week with safety measures intended to prevent the virus’ spread including limits on seating, plastic barriers in both chambers and rules allowing remote voting. Both chambers have also passed rules requiring lawmakers, staff and visitors to wear masks.

Arkansas’ coronavirus cases on Wednesday increased by 2,520 to 276,114 and the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 decreased by 86 to 1,179. The state’s COVID-19 deaths increased by 55 to 4,441.

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