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Sen. Ted Cruz says he’s self-quarantining after brief interaction with CPAC attendee who tested positive for coronavirus

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to reporters

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Sunday said he’s taking the extra precaution of self-quarantining after finding out he “briefly interacted” with a coronavirus patient at the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February. 

“Last night, I was informed that 10 days ago at CPAC I briefly interacted with an individual who is currently symptomatic and has tested positive for COVID-19. That interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake,” Cruz said.

While Cruz said he does not meet the CDC criteria for a self-quarantine, he said he is opting to anyway.

“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as a part of my job and to give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week, until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction,” he said.

On Saturday, American Conservative Union said that an individual who attended the annual congregation of political activists has tested positive for the coronavirus. The individual is now under quarantine in New Jersey.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also attended the event. A White House spokeswoman on Saturday said there was no indication that either had met with or were in close proximity to the attendee.

Cruz said he made his decision after consulting with multiple authorities including the Houston Health Department, the Harris County Public Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services, and his personal physician.

They advised him that his odds of having contracted the disease from the infected individual at CPAC were “extremely low,” given his lack of symptoms and brevity of their interaction, he said.

The Republican senator added that those with whom he has interacted in the 10 days since CPAC should “not be concerned about potential transmission.”

The announcement comes as experts are increasingly warning that certain Americans may need to reconsider public activities as the disease continues to spread.

“If we continue to see the community spread go up, I think you need to seriously look at anything that’s a large gathering,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told “Meet the Press” on Sunday.