More members of Congress are now going into self-quarantine as a precaution after two fellow lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus.
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., announced that he is going into quarantine after learning that Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, with whom he recently met, tested positive for COVID-19.
“Since I had an extended meeting with him late last week out of an abundance of caution, I have decided it would be best to self-quarantine based on the guidance of the Attending Physician of the United States Congress,” Scalise said in a statement, noting that he is “not experiencing any symptoms, and will continue working remotely on Congress’ Coronavirus response[.]”
Diaz-Balart and Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, are the first two members of Congress to announce they have been infected. McAdams told constituents of his status and his “mild cold-like symptoms” after learning his test results Wednesday.
The Office of the Attending Physician sent a memo to all House members regarding lawmakers who tested positive.
“My office has taken appropriate actions to identify any individuals who require additional monitoring for periods of quarantine,” said the memo from Dr. Brian Monahan, which was obtained by Fox News. “The office has adopted a very conservative guideline to identify individuals who may have come into contact with the ill Members during the pre-symptomatic period of March 13th. The office has additionally reviewed possible exposures among staff members and has assessed other areas involving the calendars of the affected individuals.”
The memo went on to say that the attending physician’s office “identified the offices and locations that were found to be at risk and these have been treated by the Architect of the Capitol, using CDC approved cleaning methods to ensure there is no residual risk to others.”
The memo went on to say that the attending physician’s office is focusing on situations where people had substantial contact with the infected congressmen.
“Other instances where the affected Members may have briefly come into contact with other colleagues on the House Floor would be considered to be low risk exposures and no additional measures are required other than for them to report any illness should they become ill,” it said.
Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., then issued a statement late Wednesday night announcing her own self-quarantine.
“I learned this evening that someone I was in contact with last Friday tested positive for COVID-19. After consultation with the Attending Physician and out of an abundance of caution for those around me, I will be self-quarantining until March 27th,” Rice said.
Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said she would also self-quarantine, although she had no symptoms, because last week she “participated in a small group meeting with a colleague who has since tested positive for COVID-19.”
Earlier this month, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and several other members of Congress announced they would self-quarantine after they had possible exposure to the virus, at the Conservative Political Action Conference and elsewhere.
Fox News’ Gregg Re, Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.