Five senators under quarantine due to COVID-19

ajansen/iStock(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Shortly after Senator Rand Paul announced on Sunday he tested positive for having the COVID-19 coronavirus, four U.S. senators that either interacted with him or other people who tested positive for the virus are now in self-quarantine.

Those in isolation are Senators Mitt Romney, Mike Lee, Rick Scott, and Cory Gardner.

In a statement from Romney, a spokesperson wrote, "Since Senator Romney sat next to Senator Paul for extended periods in recent days and consistent with CDC guidance, the attending physician has ordered him to immediately self-quarantine and not to vote on the Senate floor.  He has no symptoms but will be tested. He urges members to pass a relief package as quickly as possible that provides assistance for families, workers, and small businesses.

As for Gardner and Scott, they are in quarantine due to interacting with diplomatic delegations that had members who have the virus.

Also Monday, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar released a statement announcing her husband, John, had contracted the coronavirus and is currently hospitalized in Virginia for treatment of symptoms including fever and pneumonia.  "I love my husband so very much and not being able to be there at the hospital by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease," Klobuchar said in her statement.

Across the Atlantic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also in self-quarantine as of Sunday after she was reportedly exposed to the virus. When receiving a precautionary pneumonia vaccine, the doctor she saw later tested positive for COVID-19, although a report late Monday morning from Germany's DPA press agency quotes Merkel's spokesperson as saying the chancellor later tested negative.

Germany, next to Italy, is one of the hardest-hit European countries wrestling with the virus.  To combat the rising spike of cases, Merkel on Sunday also banned the gathering of more than two people -- barring family members or those living in the same household -- for the next two weeks.

New York City enacted a similar ban on Sunday, with the city police being given authority to break up and disperse large gatherings in public, namely in city parks.  This public gathering ban will be enforced for about a week.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is also considering closing the streets.

It's estimated that, as of Sunday, there are over 10,000 COVID-19 cases in New York City.

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