Home Congressional 2nd Congressional Staffer Tests Positive; More Capitol Hill Offices Work Remotely

2nd Congressional Staffer Tests Positive; More Capitol Hill Offices Work Remotely

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Sunday evening The Hill reports that a second Congressional aide has tested positive for Covid-19. 

“A staff member in Rep. David Schweikert’s (R-Ariz.) D.C. office has tested positive for COVID-19, the congressman said Sunday,” according to the report.

The individual is resting “comfortably at home and following guidance from local health officials,” Schweikert said in a statement. 

The Capitol visitor’s center stands empty. Image source: Reuters.

This follows the first known instance of a congressional aide getting the virus after on Thursday Washington state Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell announced the immediate closure of her office due to a confirmed case on her staff.

The Capitol building also closed to all external visitors and the public at that time, amid more and more Congress members announcing they would be working from home.

As Vox describes

Capitol hallways, usually bustling with visitors at this time of year, are mostly empty as public tours have been canceled. Some members of Congress, including Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, are self-quarantining after coming into contact with individuals diagnosed with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and they’re now waiting for the results of their own tests. A handful of House and Senate offices are also making the decision to close down their DC offices and directing staff to work remotely.

At least 16 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in DC as of Saturday after days before the mayor declared a state of emergency in the city, also with newly announced restrictions on bars and restaurants starting Sunday.

My statement on COVID-19 and office closures: https://t.co/zXJZBtintV pic.twitter.com/icH2YLWgeQ

— Rep. David Schweikert (@RepDavid) March 15, 2020

Rep. Schweikert announced his office will be closing until further notice as staff members work remotely. His office in Scottsdale, Arizona is also preparing to work from home out “an abundance of caution.” 

Many more such announcements for Capitol Hill staffers to “go remote” are expected this week as the crisis continues, and as more confirmed positive cases emerge. 

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously pledged to lawmakers that as “captains of the ship” they would be “the last to leave.”