How Many Lawmakers Got The Coronavirus Or Self-Quarantined? Congress saw its first two members enter self-quarantine on March 8. Later that month, seven members tested positive or were presumed so and dozens more were quarantined. The ranks have since grown.
NPR logo How The Coronavirus Has Affected Individual Members Of Congress

How The Coronavirus Has Affected Individual Members Of Congress

The U.S. Capitol is seen on April 13. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Capitol is seen on April 13.

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has brought much of the daily work of Congress to a halt.

House and Senate leaders delayed bringing back members for several weeks because of the outbreak and as public health guidelines recommended continued social distancing.

The Senate finally returned in May, but the much larger House stayed mostly away as a result of advice from the attending physician to Congress. The same month, the House approved historic rule changes allowing remote voting and hearings.

During the outbreak, the virus has infected several lawmakers and forced many more members to self-quarantine. Some have announced symptoms from their home districts. And it remains an ongoing threat.

Two Republican lawmakers, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, were the first members of Congress to announce self-quarantines, on March 8. Both had attended the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., a few days earlier. An attendant at the conference had fallen ill, its organizers revealed.


The following week, two members of Congress were the first to announce they had tested positive for the illness. Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Utah Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams both said they developed symptoms after a March 14 vote on a coronavirus relief package.

Since that time, dozens more lawmakers have entered self-quarantine as a result of exposure to someone who was sick, including fellow members of Congress, constituents and dignitaries.

To stem the flow of cases, both chambers have issued new social distancing guidance, such as encouraging the use of masks. The U.S. Capitol remains closed to public tours and open only to members, staff, press and official business visitors.


This story was originally published on April 15, 2020.

Correction April 16, 2020

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina as a Republican. He is a Democrat.