A member of the Maine House of Representatives staff secures an entrance to the floor while legislators cast a vote during a session on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at the Augusta Civic Center. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature delayed meetings of the full chambers set for next week after the second lawmaker in a week tested positive for COVID-19.

The change, which was announced in a letter to lawmakers from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, will push the session that had been scheduled for next Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center into the following week.

The lawmaker who tested positive was not named in the letter due to confidentiality policies, but Jackson and Fecteau said all indications were that this case was not related to another lawmaker’s positive test that the two presiding officers announced to lawmakers on Monday. The second lawmaker to test positive is asymptomatic and one close contact has been notified.

Jackson and Fecteau said they were making the “difficult decision” to delay next week’s session “out of an abundance of caution” for lawmakers and staff and to ensure that the lawmakers who tested positive can participate.

It is unclear how many Maine lawmakers have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began here more than a year ago. Sen. Rick Bennett, R-Oxford, disclosed that he tested positive as the session began in December and some staff have tested positive as well.

BDN writer Caitlin Andrews contributed to this report.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...