By STEVE LeBLANC Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House is experiencing an uptick in the number of lawmakers and staffers testing positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Three Massachusetts House lawmakers and four legislative employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past several days, according to a series of emails sent to House members and staff by Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo over the weekend.

Two of the members and two of the employees were at the Statehouse last week when the House was debating its version of the state budget.

DeLeo declined to name the members who had tested positive. Any representative or staffer who came in close contact with those who tested positive has been personally notified, he said.

Staff members from Clean Harbors, a company that offers COVID-19 decontamination and disposal services, pulled on yellow jumpsuits before entering the House speaker’s office. (Photo credit: Credit: Sam Doran/State House News)

All offices used by the House members or employees who tested positive and were in the building last week will receive a comprehensive environmental cleaning before members and employees will be permitted to return to those spaces, DeLeo said.

“We fully understand that, for some, receiving an email of this nature can cause anxiety. Our intent is not to cause anxiety, but rather, as previously promised, to provide you with updated information that may help you,” DeLeo wrote.

The cases come as Massachusetts is experiencing a second surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

“We will very likely have more self-reported cases from members and employees in the coming days and weeks,” DeLeo added.

Much of the House budget debate was being conducted virtually. During a typical House budget debate, all 160 House members, staffers, lobbyists, members of the public, and reporters would be crowded into the Statehouse.

The Senate is planning to debate its version of the budget beginning on Tuesday.

The Statehouse remains closed to the public during the ongoing pandemic.

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