Webster calls on all House members to wear masks after latest positive COVID-19 test of a colleague

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – State Rep. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, issued the following statement in response to news that a Republican member of the PA House of Representatives tested positive for COVID-19:

“This morning I was notified that a Republican member of the PA House of Representatives tested positive for COVID-19. This member was present at the Capitol Complex on Tuesday for official business and, as a result, contact tracing efforts to identify all who may have been exposed have begun.

“I was not in proximity of the person in question, nor did I participate in any in-person meetings in which he was present. It is possible, however, that I did engage with members who had some contact with the infected person. We will provide more information as the situation becomes clearer and we have a better idea of who all was exposed.

“In the meantime, for the safety of the community at large and to prevent further spread of COVID-19, I encourage all individuals over the age of 2 to wear masks unless your health care provider has exempted you. More than 200,000 Americans have already died during this pandemic, and we know that mask wearing is an important way to prevent others from becoming infected if one is unknowingly carrying the virus.

“This message should be reiterated for my Republican colleagues in the State Government Committee meeting yesterday who still cannot seem to bring themselves to wear a mask for the protection of themselves and others around them. Selfish inaction such as theirs make positive test results like the one announced today more real and dangerous for those at greatest risk.

“In Pennsylvania we talk about being good neighbors. It’s time for all of our leaders to live up to that.”

News of this most recent exposure at the Harrisburg Capitol Complex comes a week after the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania rolled out its new COVID Alert PA App. Reliant on Bluetooth technology rather than location services, the secure app allows users to receive notification if they’ve come in close proximity to someone who has received a positive COVID-19 test.

Since its launch last week, more than 150,000 Pennsylvanians have downloaded the app. Participation is helping contact tracers rapidly identify all those who need to self-isolate after exposure to the virus. The app is available at: https://www.pa.gov/covid/covid-alert-pa.