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

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain 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 PaulFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election Hillicon Valley: Senate report finds major cyber shortcomings in federal agencies | Gig firms seek Mass. ballot question to classify workers as contractors | Blizzard's president steps down after workplace protests MORE (R-Ky.) is the only senator known to have tested positive but others, including Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Simone wins bronze with altered beam routine The job of shielding journalists is not finished The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions MORE (R-S.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade 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 FauciPaul knocks YouTube for removing video he posted, points users to competitor Average daily COVID-19 infections topped last summer's peak, CDC says Ron Johnson praises conservative author bashed by Fauci 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 PelosiFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries On The Money: Biden issues targeted eviction moratorium | GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal 'The Squad' celebrates Biden eviction moratorium 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."