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Sen. Lamar Alexander to self-quarantine after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderCongress addressed surprise medical bills, but the issue is not resolved Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Tenn.) will self-quarantine after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

David Cleary, Alexander's chief of staff, said the GOP senator had no symptoms and had tested negative for the coronavirus on Thursday. The staff member, according to Cleary, tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday.

"After discussing this with the Senate’s attending physician, Senator Alexander, out of an abundance of caution, has decided not to return to Washington, D.C., and will self-quarantine in Tennessee for 14 days," he said.

No other staff in Alexander's office is expected to self-quarantine and most of the GOP senator's Washington, D.C., staff, like most offices on Capitol Hill, was already working remotely. 
 
Alexander is the latest senator who has had to self-quarantine after exposure to the virus. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick Leahy, not Roberts, to preside over impeachment trial Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) is the only senator known to have tested positive but others, including Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (R-S.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick To 'lower the temperature' raise commitments to federalism Leahy, not Roberts, to preside over impeachment trial MORE (R-Texas), have also self-quarantined in recent months. 
 
Alexander, who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is expected to keep working remotely, including overseeing a hearing scheduled for Tuesday on the virus. 
 
“The senator will be working remotely and will chair the Senate health committee hearing on Tuesday morning by videoconference where the witnesses will be Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci was concerned people would do 'dangerous and foolish' things after Trump suggested injecting disinfectant GOP lawmaker wants to ban feds from funding collection of COVID-19 vaccine info Overnight Health Care: Biden says anyone who wants vaccine may be able to get it by spring | Moderna says vaccine effective on variants, but tests booster shot | California lifts regional stay-at-home order MORE, Dr. Robert Redfield, Dr. Brett Giroir, and Dr. Stephen Hahn," Cleary said.
 
Fauci, Redfield and Hahn are also expected to testify before the committee remotely due to a White House staffer testing positive for COVID-19.
 
 
He warned in a statement, and during a private GOP lunch, about the lack of testing for lawmakers if they are not symptomatic, after McConnell and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOklahoma man who videotaped himself with his feet on desk in Pelosi's office during Capitol riot released on bond House formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot With another caravan heading North, a closer look at our asylum law MORE (D-Calif.) turned down the White House's offer of rapid testing machines.
 
“We’re doubling the amount of testing up to 2 million a week. There ought to be enough tests to test 535 members of Congress who come to one of the nation’s coronavirus hot spots before they go back home around the country and infect people in their districts,” Alexander said.
 
He added that, without testing, lawmakers traveling from Washington, D.C., to their home states could "represent sort of a virus-spreading machine."