Minnesota State Sen. Jerry Relph tests positive for COVID-19 as outbreak in Republican caucus expands

Another Republican Minnesota State Senator has tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed at a Republican Caucus meeting on Nov. 5.

Sen. Jerry Relph’s (R-St. Cloud) positive test follows positive tests from fellow caucus members Sen. David Senjem (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) according to a release from Gazelka’s Office.

Democrats have called on Gazelka to step down from his leadership position after claiming that the Republican Caucus only notified its own ranks of the COVID-19 exposure.

DFL Senate leader calls for Gazelka to step down from leadership role amid virus controversy

"As state leaders it is our responsibility to lead by example," DFL Senate Leader Susan Kent stated. "The Senate Majority Leader is entrusted with the responsibility of keeping all members and staff in the Senate safe. Senator Gazelka has failed to do both. Under his leadership, Republican caucus members have engaged in high-risk behaviors, he has misled Minnesotans about their actions, and they have made excuses instead of being accountable."

Relph was notified of his exposure and began self quarantining on Nov. 10. He began experiencing symptoms on Friday. Relph was not in attendance at the special session last week according to Republican officials.