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Senate cancels work as lawmakers contract virus

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Posted at 1:12 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-04 13:08:21-04

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans have canceled legislative work until Oct. 19 as the coronavirus sweeps through their ranks and lawmakers increasingly call for comprehensive testing on Capitol Hill.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Saturday that confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are still on.

One by one, President Donald Trump and a series of GOP lawmakers have fallen ill with the virus that has killed more than 208,000 Americans.

Over the last week, many of the politicians who tested positive attended events at which few people wore masks and mingled in the halls and tunnels of the Capitol complex.

Just since Friday morning, Trump, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin announced that they have tested positive.

The Senate was to reconvene this week ahead of its confirmation proceedings for Barrett. McConnell has said those hearings, scheduled to begin Oct. 12, are “full steam ahead.”

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.