Six senators were absent from the floor session Tuesday after Ferguson announced that there were “several positive rapid-test results” among legislators or staffers. Citing privacy concerns, he did not identify those individuals.
Sen. Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) tweeted that she tested positive with a rapid test but negative with a more reliable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which takes longer to process.
She thanked Ferguson and her colleagues for checking on her throughout the day while she awaited results.
In a text, Sen. Robert G. Cassily (R-Harford) said he also received a positive result from the rapid test but later tested negative.
Sen. Shelly L. Hettleman (D-Baltimore County), who tested negative Tuesday but had quarantined after being exposed to others who tested positive, tweeted that she was glad to return to the State House.
Ferguson thanked the senators, who are required to be tested twice a week, for adhering to the rules put in place at the start of the 90-day session. Under the protocols, senators are required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with a positive test.
“We are going to continue to default toward protecting health and safety,” Ferguson said at the opening of Wednesday’s session. “This work that we do in this body is unbelievably important, but it is not worth lives, so we are going to default on making sure that any risks that can be mitigated we will mitigate.”