Northwest Arkansas lawmaker tests positive since session’s start

Rep. Keith Slape/Arkansas House of Representatives
Rep. Keith Slape/Arkansas House of Representatives(KY3)
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 2:14 PM CST
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus, a House spokeswoman said, the second to be infected since the Legislature began its session last week.

Rep. Keith Slape told the House speaker Tuesday he had tested positive for the virus, House spokeswoman Cecillea Pond-Mayo said. She said Slape, a Republican from Compton, was at home with mild symptoms.

Slape is at least the 23rd Arkansas state legislator to test 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.

The Legislature has not been in session since Thursday.

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