Washington D.C. lawmakers prepare for possible coronavirus outbreak


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Congress is preparing for a coronavirus outbreak on Capitol Hill.

Offices are being trained to telework from home, and some lawmakers say they are considering limiting public access to the Capitol.

Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett says his office is ready if — or when — the coronavirus invades Capitol Hill.

Doggett says the Congressional Office of the Attending Physician is briefing members of Congress on best practices to keep everyone safe.

“There is considerable concern because if you have one group of people who are going all over the country and having contact with a wide range of people,” says Doggett. “It would be the 435 members of the House of Representatives.”

Meanwhile, seven members of Congress — including Texas Senator Ted Cruz — didn’t go to work this week. They’re in self-quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus.

But not Texas Republican Louie Gohmert.

Gohmert was also exposed to the virus at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, but says he was cleared by a CDC physician to go to work.

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn says everyone inside and outside the Capitol needs to be on high alert.

“This is a great reminder for all Americans to take this potential risk seriously,” says Cornyn.

The House and Senate will not be in Washington next week.

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