Two Republicans Self-Quarantine After Contact With Someone Who Tested Positive For Coronavirus

( – Two Republican legislators are self-quarantining themselves after they were exposed to a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Representative Paul Gosar and Senator Ted Cruz both announced they would do so after they had learned they came into contact with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference who later tested positive for the virus.

In a statement, Cruz wrote that his interaction “consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake. Given that the interaction was 10 days ago, that the average incubation period is 5-6 days, that the interaction was for less than a minute, and that I have no current symptoms, the medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low.

“The medical authorities explicitly advised me that, given the above criteria, the people who have interacted with me in the 10 days since CPAC should not be concerned about potential transmission.”

Gosar said he would also self-quarantine, despite he and his staff showing no symptoms of coronavirus. His statement read:

“I, along with 3 of my senior staff, are officially under self-quarantine after sustained contact at CPAC with a person who has since been hospitalized with the Wuhan Virus. We are all asymptomatic and feel great. But we are being proactive and cautious. Keep the person in the hospital in your prayers.”

What once was relegated to just mainland China near the city of Wuhan has since made its way to the United States. While the U.S. hasn’t experienced the type of outbreak that China, Italy, Iran and South Korea have, there are now more than 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in roughly 35 states.

The state of Washington has been hit the hardest thus far, with public school districts shutting down and companies telling their employees to work from home in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The CDC is recommending that adults 60 and over avoid travel and unnecessary contact with large groups of people, as that is the age group that is most susceptible for succumbing to the disease, if infected.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee this weekend said he was considering some mandatory measures that would keep people separated from each other. This is as the virus reaches levels beyond what is called containment — that it will likely spread just by natural interaction between people.

This public health measure, and others like it, are known more as “mitigation,” which would be an advancement from containing the outbreak. Step one was isolating sick people and quarantining them — like the two legislators are doing — but if that doesn’t work, public health officials must take further steps to minimize the spread and the number of deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said:

“You don’t want to alarm people, but given the spread we see, you know, anything is possible. And that’s the reason why we’ve got to be prepared to take whatever action is appropriate to contain and mitigate the outbreak.”