Kansas Demo­crat, Mis­souri Repub­li­can self-quar­an­tine

The Kansas City Star - - Local - BY BRYAN LOWRY blowry@mc­clatchydc.com Bryan Lowry: 202-383-6167, @BryanLowry­3

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.”

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