Minnesota state Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and is in quarantine at his home in Rochester, a GOP caucus spokeswoman said late Thursday.
Spokeswoman Rachel Aplikowski confirmed that Senjem, 77, was tested Sunday in Winona and got the news that he had tested positive Monday night. She did not say why that news wasn’t shared until Thursday evening.
Days before Senjem’s saliva test Sunday, he attended Thursday’s GOP caucus meeting in the Senate Building in St. Paul, which is now closed to the public and admits only Senate members.
“He didn’t have any symptoms at the time,” Aplikowski said.
It’s unclear if other GOP caucus members who attended the meeting are quarantining like Senjem, who is “feeling fine,” she said.
In an e-mail late Thursday, Senjem said he was not aware of any other caucus members having tested positive for COVID-19, adding that he was “masked and distancing per standard precautions” at the caucus.
As Senjem’s positive results were made public Thursday, Rochester Public Schools announced that the district will be transitioning to distance learning for all grades because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Olmsted County.
In early October, several Minnesota Republican lawmakers were in quarantine after greeting President Donald Trump during a campaign rally and fundraiser in Minnesota. Trump tested positive for COVID-19 the following day. Other GOP representatives tested negative after the visit, which attracted 3,000 people.
DFL legislators who have tested positive for COVID include Sen. Dan Sparks of Austin, Rep. Fue Lee of Minneapolis and Rep. Rena Moran of St. Paul.
Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751