ALBANY — Two Democratic Assembly members have tested positive for COVID-19 after making the trip up to Albany to cast votes in Wednesday’s ‘extraordinary’ session.
“I was informed today that Assembly members Charles Fall and Inez Dickens have tested positive for COVID-19. Both have been vaccinated and are currently quarantining,” said Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx) in a statement released Friday afternoon.
“We are now in the process of reaching out to other members and staff that they may have been in contact with on Wednesday during session in Albany. Those individuals are being encouraged to quarantine until they can get a COVID test,” he added.
Lawmakers returned to Albany at the behest of Gov. Kathy Hochul to pass an extension to the state’s eviction moratorium through Jan. 15, approve two overdue appointments to the state agency that will regulate marijuana sales as well as grant local governments and state agencies to conduct remote public meetings through the new year.
“Yesterday, I started to experience COVID-related symptoms after traveling from Albany for extraordinary session. This morning I tested positive for COVID. I have been fully vaccinated since March of this year. This is a reminder to all to take this virus seriously and continue to wear a mask and take precaution when interacting with other— even if you are fully vaccinated,” tweeted Fall on Friday.
He represents the 61st Assembly District, which covers the North Shore of Staten Island. He was elected to the chamber in 2018.
Dickens represents the 70th Assembly District, covering Hamilton Heights, Harlem and Morningside Heights in Manhattan.
A representative from her office did not respond to an immediate request for comment from The Post.
Sources told The Post that the Speaker’s office began calling members Friday morning to inform them of the positive cases.
Several Democratic members have also said they will be getting tested for the coronavirus as a precaution.
Last year, the state Legislature approved temporary remote voting rules to prevent the deadly bug’s spread.
But as the state began to relax economic restrictions in line with decreasing cases and the introduction of the vaccine last winter, legislative leaders implemented smaller voting groups to prevent spread and limit large gatherings in the chambers. Those rules are still in effect.
The state Assembly has the capacity for 150 sitting members, with additional space for staffers and security personnel.
The 63-member state Senate, although a smaller chamber, implemented similar rules.
Meanwhile, there have been no reported positive COVID-19 cases by Republican Assemblymembers, according to a spokesman.
Representatives for both the state Senate Democrats and Senate Republican conferences also said none of their members have tested positive following Wednesday’s session.