Not A Penalty Box; 2 Senators Sent To Balcony After COVID-19 Contacts

AP Photo – Nati Harnik

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska legislature used one piece of its coronavirus plan for the first time Monday as Senator Julie Slama of Peru sat by herself in the legislative chamber’s balcony

Speaker Jim Scheer said a member of Slama‚Äôs family tested positive for COVID-19 and while she tested negative, she agreed to sit in the balcony until she’s retested on Wednesday.

Scheer of Norfolk said the action was taken “out of an abundance of caution” and that Slama should be in the balcony at the back of the chamber and 40-feet above the floor only a day or two.

Although she was physically isolated, Slama still took part in debate using a microphone specifically set up for her. The system for her to vote was definitely low-tech; Slama held up either a red or green sign for yes or no.

Slama’s not alone today. Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln is also in the isolation balcony. Morfeld said on social media Monday that he would be going up after learning that someone he is in frequent contact with has COVID-19.