Kansas Democrat, Missouri Republican self-quarantine
A Kansas Democrat and a Missouri Republican are among the growing lists members of Congress to self-quarantine quarantine after two lawmakers announced they had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, said Thursday that she had contact last week with member of Congress who has since tested positive for COVID-19 and would be isolating herself as a precaution.
Rep. Ann Wagner, RMissouri, made a similar announcement Wednesday after two lawmakers from each party tested positive for the virus: Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Utah Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams.
Davids said she would stay at home until March 26 after consulting with the attending physician of Congress.
“I’m thankfully feeling well and have had not experienced any symptoms. The Attending Physician said that I’m at very low risk for contracting COVID-19, as are the people I’ve interacted with recently,” she said. “But as I’ve said before, we all have a role to play in reducing the spread of this virus, and that means self-quarantining when appropriate.”
Davids is the first Kansas lawmaker to self-quarantine. Her Davids’ announcement comes a day after the freshman Democrat criticized the decision to limit testing in Johnson County, where she resides and where the bulk of Kansas cases have been identified.
As of Thursday morning, 16 people in Johnson County have tested positive for COVID-19. Another eight cases have been identified in Wyandotte County, including one death. Davids’ district includes both counties and parts of Miami County.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced the decision to limit testing in Johnson County because of the limited number of test kits and because there’s already evidence of community spread.
Davids said she would be teleworking while she remains in quarantine and said she remains “committed to working with our public health officials at all levels of government to keep our community prepared and safe.”
The disclosure that two House members have coronavirus comes as Congress is preparing its third major coronavirus relief bill, a stimulus package which could include direct payments to help Americans with economic effects of the pandemic.
Wagner, a Republican who represents the St. Louis suburbs, has also confined herself after after meeting last week with a colleague who has since tested positive for COVID-19.
Wagner said has no symptoms and was taking the step out of an abundance of caution. She is the first Missouri lawmaker to self-quarantine.
“While I feel fine and am not exhibiting any symptoms, I will follow the advice of the Attending Physician until cleared,” Wagner said in statement. “In the meantime I will continue to work remotely through teleconference as Congress works to provide a strong and effective response for everyone impacted by this virus.”