Congresswoman has COVID-19 after Capitol riot


Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., speaks during a hearing with FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok before the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on “Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election,” on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey says she has tested positive for COVID-19 and believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of Wednesday’s rioting.

She was among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol. Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period. A news release from her office on Monday notes that “a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.”

Watson Coleman is isolating at home and awaiting the results of another test. She says, “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”

Watson Coleman had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID19 vaccine, which has been made available to members of Congress.

While the virus most often spreads from person to person, it is possible to pass it on without showing any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also says the “virus may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.”

Case investigation and contact tracing are part of the process of supporting patients and warning contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission, according to the CDC.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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