6 lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol riot

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Six members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 after rioters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, reports The New York Times.

They are listed below, starting with the most recently reported cases:

  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D.-N.Y.
  • Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill. 
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.
  • Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R.-Tenn. 
  • Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-Kansas 

Several House Democrats said they believe they were exposed to the virus while locked down in a secure room with other lawmakers in the U.S. Capitol, some of whom choose not to wear masks.  

The lawmakers all said they were isolating at home in separate statements. Ms. Watson Coleman, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, said she was experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms as of Jan. 11. Mr. LaTurner and Mr. Schneider said they were not experiencing any symptoms at the time of their positive tests.

Ms. Jayapal called for fines to be levied on any lawmaker who refused to wear a mask in the Capitol, according to a Jan. 11 statement.

The House members' positive test results come after Brian Monahan, MD, the attending physician to Congress, told lawmakers that those who sought shelter in the same secure committee room may have been exposed to someone who was infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

"The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection," Dr. Monahan wrote in a Jan. 10 email to members of Congress.

Scientists and experts have already voiced concerns that the storming of the Capitol may cause a superspreader event, as many rioters who entered the Capitol were not wearing masks or social distancing. 

More articles on public health:

When will smell, taste come back? 5 COVID-19 questions answered
COVID-19 test positivity jumps in every region: 4 CDC updates
6 states reporting low flu activity: CDC FluView report

 

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