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Jayapal tests positive for coronavirus, will isolate in Seattle

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, pictured in Seattle in January 2022, said that the Congressional Progressive Caucus is preparing an executive action agenda to present to President Joe Biden, which includes an item that would increase overtime eligibility for workers.  (Ellen M. Banner/Seattle Times)
By Mike Reicher Seattle Times Seattle Times

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, announced on Twitter that she tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday.

She was experiencing “flu-like symptoms at the moment, and in accordance with CDC guidelines, I will be isolating and working remotely,” her Saturday night tweet said.

Jayapal flew from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco on Saturday for a fundraiser, spokesperson Siham Zniber said. The congresswoman tested positive in San Francisco and was planning to rent a car to drive to Seattle, Zniber said, where she could recover from the illness.

“She’s working, she’s online,” Zniber said. “She’s doing well, but she is symptomatic.”

After quarantining for several days in Seattle, Jayapal plans to fly back to Washington, D.C., when she tests negative, “in accordance with CDC guidance,” a statement on her congressional website says.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people with confirmed COVID-19 cases “should stay home and isolate from other people for at least five full days.”

Jayapal had previously scheduled a re-election campaign launch event for May 21 in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. It was not immediately clear whether that event would be rescheduled.

Zniber said Jayapal tested on Saturday “as soon as she started experiencing symptoms.”

On Friday she was in the House chambers voting on legislation, Zniber said, and on Thursday she attended an in-person event on antitrust issues hosted by Axios, also in Washington, D.C.

Jayapal had not been near President Joe Biden for at least a week, she said.

The congresswoman joins a long list of D.C. politicians and insiders who have tested positive during the latest pandemic surge. Dozens of people, including several members of Biden’s Cabinet, tested positive after a recent dinner event. Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy adviser, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive in the past two weeks.