US Senator Maria Cantwell’s office said in a statement on Wednesday that a staffer of hers had tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first known congressional worker to catch the disease.
The office added that the patient, who was not identified, “has had no known contact” with Cantwell or other lawmakers.
“The senator is requesting that testing be done on any other staffers who have been in contact with the individual and show symptoms”, the statement said.
The staffer worked out of Cantwell’s office in Washington, DC which has reportedly been closed for the remainder of the week due to the person’s diagnosis.
The developments come after Senator Ted Cruz became the fourth congressional casualty of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) late last month, when all of them came into contact with an unidentified individual during the gathering,
On Monday, US Congressman Matt Gaetz's office announced that he had been in contact with the individual at the CPAC 11 days ago and that the person had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The office said that the Congressman is not experiencing any symptoms, but that he has received testing and is awaiting the results. For now, Gaetz will be in self-quarantine for a 14-day period that "expires this week", the office added.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has, meanwhile, declared a state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the city. The announcement comes as local health services identified a total of ten cases of novel coronavirus infections.
According to the latest data, at least 1,136 cases of novel coronavirus infections have been confirmed in the United States, where 38 people have died from the disease.