NY congressman tests positive for virus after Capitol riot

Capitol Riots

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A New York congressman said Thursday he tested positive for coronavirus following isolation in the Capitol building during last week’s rioting.

Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York in a statement that he’s quarantining at home and will keep up his work representing his Upper Manhattan district. Espaillat said he received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine last week.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Brad Schneider, D.- Ill and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D. – NJ also announced this week they had the virus.

All four were among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when rioters stormed the Capitol.

It’s not clear where and when lawmakers caught the virus. But the Capitol’s attending physician has told House members they might have been exposed to someone in the room who had the virus.

Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

Both Jayapal and Schneider said they believe they were exposed during the protective isolation.

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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