Rep. Katko among COVID-positive lawmakers with House back in session

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Rep. Katko among COVID-positive lawmakers with House back in session

More members of Congress have announced positive tests for COVID-19 as the House of Representatives prepared to gavel back into session Monday evening following its holiday recess.

Reps. John Katko (R-NY), the top GOPer on the House Homeland Security Committee, and Ben Cline (R-Va.) were the latest to release statements on Twitter announcing they had been infected. 

Katko said he was experiencing “only mild symptoms” and would work from home while quarantining. 

“I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. I am fully vaccinated and boosted, and am thankfully experiencing only mild symptoms,” he said. “I will be voting by proxy in Washington this week and working from home as I recover. My constituent service team remains available and ready to serve.”

Cline also said he would be working from home until he is cleared to return to in-person work.

Rep. Ben Cline
Rep. Ben Cline announced he had been infected with COVID-19.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

“I took a COVID-19 test on Saturday and the result was positive,” he tweeted. “I have been vaccinated and after consulting with my physician, I am taking the necessary precautions to isolate here in Virginia. Thanks to everyone for their support and assistance.”

Since mid-December, 24 members of the House and Senate have contracted the virus as the Omicron variant has swept the country, with nine breakthrough cases seen in 2022 alone. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
sign reminding riders to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Since mid-December, 24 members of the House and Senate have contracted coronavirus.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The diagnoses of Katko and Cline come on the heels of positive tests for Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Sean Casten (D-Ill.), Young Kim (R-Calif.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

In the wake of the case surge, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced that House leadership will be lengthening the amount of time given to vote series to allow for social distancing.

Meanwhile, the Capitol attending physician called last week for members to wear KN95 or N95 masks on the House floor in an effort to prevent the spread of infection. 

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