The Lead

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

By: - March 18, 2020 1:49 pm

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.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.