Delaware congressional delegation not tested for coronavirus

DOVER — Although at least one U.S. senator and two representatives have contracted the coronavirus, none of the members of Delaware’s congressional delegation have been tested.

As of Monday, none of the three had any symptoms or reason to believe they had come in close contact with someone carrying it, according to their offices. Due in part to a shortage of tests, health experts recommend not testing people unless there is evidence they have the virus.

Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, as well as Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, were all doing well and listening to the advice of doctors and experts, spokespeople said.

It was announced Sunday Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had tested positive, a few days after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah had been diagnosed with it.

Tom Carper

“Senator Carper has not been tested for coronavirus as he is healthy and not showing any symptoms. He continues to follow the recommendation of his physician and public health experts who have advised against testing unless you are showing symptoms,” a spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Spokesmen for Sen. Coons and Rep. Blunt Rochester sounded similar notes.

“The congresswoman has not been tested as she’s had no known contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 nor has she displayed any symptoms that would necessitate testing,” a spokesman for Rep. Blunt Rochester wrote in an email. “She has been practicing social distancing as recommended by the CDC and is taking the necessary steps to help stop the spread.”

Should the coronavirus continue to spread, Congress may have to start voting remotely or make other changes to its procedures. The average age of members of the Senate is 63, while the typical representative is 58. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says individuals at least 65, as well as though with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems, are most at risk from the virus.

At 73, Sen. Carper would fall in that high-risk category.

Sen. Coons is 56, and Rep. Blunt Rochester is 58.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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