June 18, 2020

State senator self-isolating after COVID-19 exposure


State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez was self-isolating at her hotel in Santa Fe Thursday after being exposed to a person who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, said she received a call from the state Department of Health notifying her she had contact with someone who tested positive.

The senator said she was feeling fine and had no symptoms associated with the virus.

She was given permission to travel to Santa Fe for the special legislative session, but isolated in her office at the Capitol and then moved back to her hotel.

“I came to my hotel because my committees aren’t meeting today,” she said Thursday.

Under the chamber’s modified rules being considered by the Senate Rules Committee, Sedillo Lopez would not be able to debate or vote on bills if she is not physically present on the Senate floor.

She said she asked the committee to change the procedures to allow her to vote because she didn’t want to risk potentially exposing other legislators on the chamber floor if she does have the virus.

Sedillo Lopez was not present for a roll call vote on the floor Thursday afternoon on whether to send a bill on election reform to the Judiciary Committee.

“Worse comes to worst, I’ll come to the floor and vote,” she said of future votes.

She noted the virus can be transmitted even if someone is asymptomatic.

“That worries me,” she said.

Meanwhile, some Republican legislators continued their disregard for certain public health precautions Thursday. 

Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, and Sen. Gregory Baca, R-Belen, did not wear a mask during a Senate Rules Committee meeting, prompting several comments from their colleagues who were wearing face coverings.

“Observing some of our colleagues, not everyone is using their mask,” said Sen. Linda Lopez, chairwoman of the committee.