WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Nearly 20 members of the U.S. Capitol Police are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s Billy House reports 19 officers tested positive for the virus and additional cops were sent home due to contract tracing. House adds there’s no way to confirm the cases are related to the January 6 riots.
A number of lawmakers have tested positive for the virus after being evacuated as rioters stormed the hallways of the building.
Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.) have all reported positive test results since January 6, according to ABC News.
After seeing images and video from the event, experts quickly labeled it a superspreader. Many of the rioters were not wearing masks and were within 6 feet of each other.
“This was in so many ways an extraordinarily dangerous event…not only from the security aspects but from the public health aspects, and there will be a fair amount of disease that comes from it,” Eric Toner, senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the Washington Post.
Toner noted because of the scope of the event, the spread of COVID-19 would be nearly impossible to track.
“It is a very real possibility that this will lead to a major outbreak but one that we may or may not be able to recognize,” Toner added. “All the cases to likely derive from this event will likely be lost in the huge number of cases we have in the country right now.”
More than 100 people have been arrested following the Capitol incident.
A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos.