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Concerns over possible COVID exposure leads to finger-pointing on day 1 of special session

Colorado House Speaker KC Becker said a staffer was asked to leave because of a positive test last week. Minority Leader Hugh McKean said Becker had the wrong date.

DENVER — In just the first day of the Colorado legislature's special session, there was concern over a potential COVID-19 exposure for lawmakers.

Democratic House Speaker KC Becker said a Republican House staffer was asked to leave the Capitol on Monday and work remotely for the remainder of the session. 

In a letter to her staff obtained by 9NEWS, Becker said the staffer tested positive for the coronavirus last week and the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment would work on contact tracing for anyone who may have been in close contact with this person.

Becker in her official statement called the staffer's attendance "dangerous" and said it was "a reckless breach of the House’s safety protocols."

Newly-minted House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, however, said the staffer tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 17, not last week, and added she had a note from her doctor showing clearance to work on Monday.

"The statement that this individual tested positive last week is in error, after consulting with the Aide and finding that the test was performed on November 17th and cleared to return to work in person on the 24th, there should be minimal concern about their condition," McKean wrote in a statement.

Becker said all staff is required to wear masks at all times and get tested before entering the Capitol building. 

WATCH: Mask rules at the Colorado Capitol

Earlier Monday, the city said there were 200 COVID-19 cases among Denver's Department of Safety, which includes the city's police, fire and sheriff departments, along with 911 dispatch. 

RELATED: First day of special session deals with COVID-19 relief bills, masks and short tempers

RELATED: 200 COVID cases among Denver safety employees including police, fire

Denver earlier this month moved to stricter Level Red COVID-19 restrictions to slow the exponential growth of the novel coronavirus.

Level Red means all restaurants have to temporarily close to indoor dining, but takeout is still an option.

RELATED: 22 counties move to 'severe risk' level on state's COVID-19 dial


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