Lawmakers may have been exposed to the coronavirus while they were held in a secure room during Wednesday’s attack on Congress, the Capitol’s attending physician said Sunday.
“Many members of the House community were in protective isolation in room located in a large committee hearing space,” physician Brian Monahan said in a statement. “During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.“
While Monahan’s statement didn’t specify which room, one video showed dozens of people sheltered in place a committee room in the as a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed into the Capitol, forcing their way into the House and Senate chambers, lawmakers’ offices, and other areas.
The video showed Delaware Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester offering masks to a group of Republicans, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Andy Biggs of Arizona, who refused to cover their faces.
The physician said members and staff who were potentially exposed should get tested for Covid-19 and continue measures to mitigate the risk of infecting others.
Some 113 U.S. representatives or senators have self-quarantined or taken other action since April after either testing positive for Covid-19 or coming into contact with someone who had, according to GovTrack.
Six representatives have announced positive Covid status in 2021 so far. In late December, Congressman-elect Luke Letlow of Louisiana died from Covid-19 a week before he was to take office.
Last week, before the election for Speaker, the House debuted a specially constructed plexiglass voting area in a corner of the chamber’s mezzanine, designed to enable members who either tested positive or are in quarantine to vote in-person.