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Coronavirus
As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Democratic Lawmaker Files Complaint Saying She's Forced To Work In Unsafe Conditions

Rep. Tavia Galonski
Rep. Tavia Galonski

Many Democratic state lawmakers were upset Wednesday when they discovered an earlier seating plan that allowed social distancing in the Ohio House chamber had been scrapped in favor of one allowing all legislators inside the chamber. Now, one of those minority lawmakers has filed a complaint with the Franklin County Health Department.

Rep. Tavia Galonski says her colleagues didn’t know Republican House Speaker Larry Householder had abandoned the plan for safe distancing prior to the session earlier this week.

“We were basically outraged," Galonski says.

And she was also outraged that unlike the Democrats, most majority Republicans were not wearing masks either. Beyond the health department complaint, Galonski says legal action is possible too.

“If I need to take further action, I feel like I need to protect the employees, staff members, etc. but I believe the health department will do what is necessary and right," Galonski says.

Householder told reporters he is doing what is right by allowing all lawmakers into the chamber again. And he said masks were not an order for them – just a recommendation.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau