Mar 12, 2020 - Health

Capitol to close to public until April 1 amid coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Capitol — as well as House and Senate office buildings — will close to the public until April 1 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

The state of play: The House and Senate sergeants-at-arms said the move, set to begin at 5pm on Thursday, was made "out of concern for the health and safety of congressional employees as well as the public." The Capitol complex will remain open to lawmakers, their staff members, journalists and other official visitors during the closure.

Go deeper: Rep. Matt Gaetz tests negative for coronavirus after contact with confirmed patient

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Lawmakers self-quarantine after contact with confirmed coronavirus cases

Rep. Mark Meadows speaks to members of the media at the Capitol in January. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said on Tuesday that he will self-quarantine following "a positive test for COVID-19 by a friend in Washington, D.C., with whom he recently interacted," per a statement.

Details: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) andRep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) also self-quarantined after coming into contact with someone at CPAC 2020 who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) said she will self-quarantine after coming in contact with a confirmed case in D.C.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 10, 2020 - Health

Exclusive: Congressmen reintroduce bill to allow members to vote from home districts

A tour operator, wearing a protective mask, gestures as he leads a tour near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 9. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) are reintroducing a 2013 bill that would enable members of Congress to virtually participate in committee hearings and vote remotely on suspension bills from their home districts amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to an advanced copy of the press release obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Congress, which is tasked with governing the country out of the coronavirus crisis, could quickly become a dangerous place for members and staffers, many of whom are over the age of 60 — the age group the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised to stay home as much as possible.

Coronavirus patient defies isolation directions to attend N.H. event

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Photo: Ken Gallager/Wiki Media

An employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) who became the first coronavirus patient in New Hampshire defied directions to stay away from other people, state health officials confirmed in a statement Tuesday.

Details: Despite having been "directed to self-isolate," the patient attended a private event on Friday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said. The health authority said it issued "an official order of isolation" following the patient's action.

Go deeperArrowMar 4, 2020 - Health