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Two Capitol Police officers have tested positive for coronavirus

Coronavirus infiltrates Capitol Police force over a week after chief said testing for full force unnecessary

Capitol Police stand guard in the Capitol Visitor Center. Two officers have tested positive for the coronavirus. Officers are required to maintain a presence at the Capitol, and some are worried about their exposure.
Capitol Police stand guard in the Capitol Visitor Center. Two officers have tested positive for the coronavirus. Officers are required to maintain a presence at the Capitol, and some are worried about their exposure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Capitol Police officers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an incursion into the force that protects the Capitol complex, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

On March 20, union head Gus Papathanasiou told Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund he has been flooded with inquiries from officers concerned about contracting the coronavirus. Unlike staffers and other employees who can work from home, many officers are required to maintain a physical presence around the grounds.

“No USCP officers have been identified to be at high risk and no testing required,” Sund said in an email to Papathanasiou.

Sund sent that email after a first officer tested positive for the virus and began to self-quarantine on March 18. The Hill reported that first officer’s positive diagnosis on Sunday.

Thus far, five lawmakers have tested positive for coronavirus. Additionally, New York Democratic Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez disclosed on Monday that she had been diagnosed with a “presumed coronavirus infection.”

On March 18, Florida Democratic Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart became the first member of Congress to disclose his positive diagnosis and Rep. Ben McAdams, a Utah Democrat, followed that same day.

Reps. Joe Cunningham, a South Carolina Democrat, and Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican, announced their positive diagnosis on March 27. Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, also tested positive for the virus.

Eva Malecki, a Capitol Police spokesperson, did not return requests for comment.

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