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2 US lawmakers self-quarantine over contact with man with coronavirus

Ted Cruz says he shook man’s hand at conservative conference; Paul Gosar and his senior staff enter isolation; Trump, Pence were also at CPAC confab

(L-R) U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) question witnesses during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing concerning the role of aviation in containing the spread of infectious diseases, in the Russell Senate Office Building on March 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
(L-R) U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) question witnesses during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing concerning the role of aviation in containing the spread of infectious diseases, in the Russell Senate Office Building on March 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Two members of US Congress have entered isolation after coming in contact with a man later diagnosed with COVID-19.

Sen. Ted Cruz and congressman Paul Gosar said they are quarantining themselves after determining they had engaged at a political conference with a man infected with the coronavirus.

Cruz said he had brief contact with the man at the Conservative Political Action Conference nearly two weeks ago and would spend the next few days at his home in Texas until a full 14 days had passed since their interaction. Cruz revealed he had shaken hands with the man. He has no symptoms.

Gosar said he had sustained contact with the man at CPAC and that he and three members of his senior staff are under self-quarantine. The office of the Arizona Republican will be closed for the week.

In this Dec. 2013, photo, US Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, speaks during a Congressional Field Hearing on the Affordable Care Act in Apache Junction, Arizona (AP Photo/Matt York)

Besides Cruz and Gosar, the CPAC schedule lists three other senators and 12 House members who were scheduled to speak. They include No. 2 House GOP leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, No. 3 Republican leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming and congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who has since become the White House chief of staff.

US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also attended CPAC near Washington last month. Organizers said the president and vice president were not in the vicinity of the infected man.

Some 30 US states have been hit by the novel coronavirus, with Oregon the latest to declare an emergency, and 60 million people in California and New York under crisis measures.

US President Donald Trump, center, points as he prepares to answer question after speaking about the coronavirus in the press briefing room at the White House,Feb. 29, 2020, in Washington, as Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, Vice President Mike Pence, Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams listen. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Two more deaths linked to a virus-hit care home near Seattle were reported Sunday, bringing the nationwide toll to at least 21.

A Johns Hopkins tally put the number of confirmed US cases at 537 by Sunday afternoon, with newly diagnosed patients in states including Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.

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