U.S. Capitol Has ‘Explosive’ Growth of Covid Cases, Doctor Says
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Capitol has seen an “explosive” growth of coronavirus infections, with more than 13% of those tested turning up positive over a seven-day period, up from from less than 1%, the chief doctor for Congress told lawmakers and staff on Monday.
Attending Physician Brian P. Monahan said in a letter to member offices obtained by Bloomberg News that hundreds of people have been infected, and he urged maximum use of teleworking and better masking.
Most of the cases at the Capitol are breakthough infections in people who’ve been vaccinated, and none of those so far have resulted in serious complications or hospitalizations, Monahan said. Most of the cases at the Capitol are caused by the Omicron variant.
He noted that the Washington, D.C., region now has the highest number of cases per capita in the U.S.
“The daily case rates will increase even more substantially in the coming weeks,” Monahan wrote, urging greater precautions. “Blue surgical masks, cloth face masks and gaiter masks must be replaced by the more protective KN95 or N95 masks.”
The Senate is scheduled to be in session this week. While the House is not, some of its members are planning to be at the Capitol for commemoration events tied to the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
House Democrats are scheduled to get more details on Tuesday about updated Capitol health protocols during a noon conference call, according to a separate notice sent Monday to lawmakers’ offices.
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