Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said Wednesday that he is self-quarantining because he has symptoms of coronavirus, including a low-grade fever and chest tightness.
Moulton said he and his wife, who has had similar symptoms, have not been able to confirm if either of them actually have COVID-19 because neither qualified for testing.
The House’s attending physician advised Moulton that even though he is “symptomatic,” he and his wife don’t qualify for tests because the symptoms are minor and wouldn’t change the treatment protocol.
“As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, I will follow my doctors’ direction and continue to stay home and self-quarantine until I hit seven days after my symptoms started to improve and I do not have a fever for 72 hours. Unless my symptoms take a turn for the worse, that would be this Saturday,” Moulton said in a statement.
More than a dozen other members of Congress are self-quarantining after being exposed to people later diagnosed with the coronavirus. At least three lawmakers — Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Rep. Ben McAdams (Utah) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — have tested positive for the disease.
The Senate is expected to consider another economic relief package aimed at helping workers and businesses stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s unclear when or how the House will vote on the bill. If the two parties can’t secure unanimous consent or quickly change House rules to allow for some way for lawmakers to cast votes without physically being in the chamber, members will have to travel back from their districts and potentially expose themselves to the virus.
If lawmakers do have to vote in person, Moulton would presumably be among those who would be unable to participate.
“I’m making this public because I will potentially miss some important votes as a result. I will make very clear my position on those votes ahead of time,” Moulton said.
Moulton said that his symptoms have been improving and noted that he even went out for a run on Tuesday while trying to keeping a distance from others.
“I have been steadily improving and even went for a run yesterday, carefully keeping my distance from others, but I don’t want to risk the chance that I pass this, or whatever other respiratory illness I have if it is not the coronavirus, on to a colleague or fellow traveler. It’s our responsibility—all of ours—to stop the spread of this virus and help flatten the curve,” Moulton said.