(Des Moines) -- COVID-19 continues to hover over activities at the Iowa Statehouse.
On Friday, lawmakers were informed that someone associated with the Iowa House had tested positive for coronavirus. An email indicated the individual was not wearing a mask when entering the capitol. Further information regarding the case is not being released because of HIPAA rules. The news comes as activities in the Missouri House have been paused because of COVID-19 cases among lawmakers. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Monday morning, State Representative Tom Moore expressed hope that Statehouse activities will continue with the COVID-related precautions in place.
"We have really gone and put in place some extensive protocol, and new meeting places and things like that," said Moore, "to help mitigate the possibility of that happening. I'm sure that as we know just how fluid this COVID is, there's going to be situations where we're going to be make adjustments. But, I'm hoping that we can avoid a whole lot of that."
Though face coverings are recommended, but not required in the legislature, Moore says other restrictions are in place--such as limiting the number of people in the House and Senate sides of the chamber.
"We have gone to new meeting rooms, which create more of a situation for social distancing," he said. "We have gone to virtual different things, so that the public can be involved, without having to be in the room during subcommittee meetings, and those type of things. So, I guess to say are we going to have to push the pause button, we'll just have to wait and see. But, I think we're doing everything we can to mitigate that problem."
Moore is among lawmakers backing Governor Kim Reynolds' call for a 100% in-person learning option for students and parents during COVID-19. The governor made her proposal during her Condition of the State Speech last week.
"That creates some questions, and we're going to have to deal with those questions," said Moore. "But, through the COVID, we have seen that although virtual learning is valuable to school districts, it isn't the end all. We've seen testing decline as far as our students is concerned. The best thing for our students is back in the classroom."
However, the Griswold Republican says school districts should still have the option of switching to virtual learning only temporarily because of rising COVID numbers--such as what happened last fall.
"I think that option should still be available," he said. "The way I understand it, that option (will be available) for a short time response. But, for the elongated time periods for the few school districts that decided to remain virtual, that's going to go off the table."
You can hear the full interview with Tom Moore on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.