Pa. U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright is self-quarantining after contact with confirmed COVID-19 patient

    U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District (Screen capture)

    The COVID-19 outbreak has hit Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation.

    U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District, said Wednesday that he’s self-quarantining after coming into contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.

    In a statement, Cartwright said he’ll be staying in his northeastern Pennsylvania home after his contact with the person, whom he identified as a family friend. Cartwright said he hadn’t developed any symptoms of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

    “This morning, I received confirmation that a family friend I interacted with over the weekend has tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, I began self-quarantining in my home on Sunday as soon as I found out they started showing symptoms consistent with this new virus,” Cartwright said in a statement. “I have not developed any symptoms myself since coming into contact with them, but I will remain at home for the next two weeks in order to ensure I do not pass it along to anyone else. The last thing I would want to do is spread this further to my family, friends, constituents, colleagues or staff.

    He continued: “Serving northeastern Pennsylvania in Congress is an honor and a privilege, and I regret that I cannot be out on the front lines alongside the other leaders in this area who are working so hard to fight this outbreak. But I believe the best way I can lead right now is by example. That means heeding the advice of the medical experts, who say that self-quarantining if you believe you have been exposed is essential to slowing the spread of this virus.

    “My office remains accessible via phone for constituents. I will continue to work from home and remain engaged remotely in Congressional efforts to fight this pandemic.”

    Pennsylvania health officials reported 37 new COVID-19 cases as of midday Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 133 cases.

    COVID-19 has now been confirmed in 18 counties across the state, including Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Lehigh and York counties.

    John L. Micek
    A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press