PA’s House Speaker Tests Positive For COVID-19

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HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG)– The speaker of the Pennsylvania House has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster County) started quarantining three days ago, after learning he was exposed to someone with the coronavirus. His office did not provide further details of the interaction.

State Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster County, addresses the House after being elected to serve as Pennsylvania House Speaker, June 22, 2020. Dan Gleiter / PennLive

In a statement, Cutler said he was not at the Capitol when he believes he contracted the virus, noting his exposure should have “no impact” on anyone working there. Throughout the pandemic, the House Republican caucus has maintained a policy of disclosure and quarantining whenever a member believes they’ve been exposed.

“My offices in Harrisburg and Quarryville will remain open as my quarantine continues,” Cutler said in the statement. “I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me in recent days and appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers.”

Cutler said he has been experiencing mild symptoms, and plans to work from home for at least the next two weeks. He otherwise plans to “follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines” before he returns to the Capitol.

House GOP spokesman Mike Straub said in the meantime, Cutler plans to virtually attend the legislative session scheduled for next week, and will temporarily appoint someone to take on the speaker’s duties.

While some of his Republican colleagues have said otherwise, the speaker is touting mask-wearing and vaccinations as “important to reducing the spread of the virus.”

Each of the four legislative caucuses have had at least one member test positive for the virus since the pandemic began in March 2020. The group of more than a dozen includes Rep. Seth Grove (R-York County), Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin County), Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams County) and Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia).