A senate aide for Washington senator Maria Cantwell has tested positive for the coronavirus, Cantwell’s office announced on Wednesday night. It is the first known case of COVID-19 among congressional staff members. The staffer works in Cantwell’s office in Washington, D.C., but “had no known contact with the senator or other members of Congress,” according to the statement. The Democratic senator’s office will be closed for the remainder of the week so that it may undergo a deep cleaning.
The aide has been isolated since their symptoms first appeared, but it’s not yet clear if other congressional staff members were exposed.
The newly discovered COVID-19 case means that the coronavirus has officially landed on Capitol Hill. The only other known links to the virus became known earlier this week when several Republican members of Congress announced that they were voluntarily self-quarantining themselves after learning they were potentially exposed to the virus at CPAC. Senator Ted Cruz and representatives Paul Gosar, Doug Collins, Matt Gaetz, and Louie Gohmert have all acknowledged they were in contact with a man at CPAC who later tested positive for the coronavirus. All but Gohmert decided to voluntarily self-quarantine themselves as a precaution.
This is a developing story and this post will be updated.