A Liberal MP from the Montreal area is in self-isolation after he attended a conference held in Washington, D.C. according to CTV News. Many of the conference attendees have tested positive for the virus since.
Anthony Housefather received an email notifying him about a person from Toronto who tested positive for coronavirus after attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The conference was held between March 1-3.
In a statement, Housefather said, “Out of an abundance of caution, I am self-isolating at home awaiting further instruction from Toronto public health officials. I feel absolutely fine and it has already been a week since I left the conference.”
According to AIPAC, there are also two people from New York who have tested positive since attending the conference—and another from Los Angeles. They are still unsure when the virus was contracted by the patients.
Josh Matlow, a Toronto city councillor will also be in a self-isolation until March 20 after attending the conference.
“I have been informed…that because I am asymptomatic, no one, including my family, is at an elevated risk of having contracted the virus due to contact with me,” he said in a statement.
U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz have also entered a self-isolation after they shook hands with someone who has tested positive for the virus while at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
U.S. Congressmen, Doug Collins and Matt Gaetz are also taking safety measures after going to the conference. The two have been in in-person contact with President Trump recently.
The politicians have all said that they are showing no symptoms but are entering self-isolation as a cautionary measure.
Lisa Raitt, a former member of the Conservative Party noted that the House of Commons is a place where viruses can be easily transmitted.
“I would be sitting there in October, I would hear the first person cough on the other side of the House, and my back would stiffen because I would know: ‘Uh oh, here comes the cold,’” she said on the “Overview with Evan Solomon” radio show.
“I mean, you're close to each other, you're touching the same surfaces, the food is open in the lobbies for people to consume and there's coffee all over the place.”
She added that it is tough for MPs to avoid large crowds and take proper precautionary measures.
“It's something that I think the government is going to have to think about,” said Raitt. “How do you (stay home) in a minority government where every vote could potentially be a vote that takes you down, especially in the budget season?”
In an email, a spokesperson for the House of Commons said, “The House of Commons Administration is working with all parties to ensure that everyone is kept informed as the situation evolves. The House Administration sent an email to all MPs and staff last week regarding preventative measures to be taken in light of the current situation.”