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September 21, 2020 at 1:53 AM EDT
Rep. Jahana Hayes tests positive for coronavirus, highlights testing woes
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) became the latest member of Congress to test positive for the novel coronavirus on Sunday, joining roughly a dozen members of the House who have contracted the virus to date.
In a series of tweets, Hayes said that she was not experiencing any symptoms “except for breathing issues which are being monitored.” She took the opportunity to call for a robust national testing strategy, noting that she had attempted to get tested at two urgent care centers on Saturday without any success, and only learned she was infected with the virus after getting an appointment at a third facility on Sunday morning.
“Contrary to popular belief, [members of Congress] do not get tested regularly,” Hayes wrote. “In fact we are not mass tested at all in DC. Masks, social distancing & frequent floor cleanings are the precautions that are taken in the House. I have taken every possible precaution and still contracted coronavirus.”
In a separate statement on Saturday, Hayes said that she sought out testing after learning that she had been in close contact with a staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus. All employees at her Connecticut and Washington, D.C., offices would be working remotely until further notice, she said, and her staff had been told to quarantine and get tested.
On Sunday, Hayes posted a video of herself receiving a nasal swab test and said that she would self-isolate for 14 days.
“My experience and the experience of my staff underscore the need for a nat’l testing strategy with a coherent way to receive speedy, accurate results,” she wrote. “This level of anxiety and uncertainty is untenable.”