HOUSTON, Texas -- United States Senator Ted Cruz is extending his isolation until next week after he learned he came into contact with another person who tested positive for coronavirus.
"Unfortunately, last night I was informed I had a second interaction with an individual who yesterday tested positive for COVID-19," Cruz said in a statement. "On March 3, I met in my D.C. office with Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Vox Party in Spain. We met for about 20 minutes, sitting together at a conference table. We shook hands twice and took pictures together."
Abascal tested positive for COVID-19, according to Cruz.
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Cruz's original self-quarantine period ended on Thursday and he said in a statement he feels fine.
Original story below.
Cruz alerted the public earlier this week after he said he was just informed he recently interacted with a coronavirus patient.
Cruz said at the Conservative Political Action Conference he "briefly interacted with an individual who is currently symptomatic and has tested positive for COVID-19."
The senator said the interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake.
"I have consulted with medical authorities from 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, as well as my personal physician," Cruz said in a statement. "I have also spoken with Vice President Pence, Leader McConnell, and Mark Meadows."
Cruz has not experienced any symptoms and says he feels fine and healthy.
Map of COVID-19 cases across the US, updated as confirmed by CDC
He also noted that medical authorities have advised him that the odds of transmission from the patient were extremely low given the brevity of the interaction, the virus incubation period and other factors.
"The medical authorities explicitly advised me that, given the above criteria, the people who have interacted with me in the 10 days since CPAC should not be concerned about potential transmission," Cruz said.
He also said his situation does not meet the CDC criteria to self-quarantine, and he cannot be tested since testing is not effective before symptoms manifest.
"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.," Cruz said.
Senator Ted Cruz extends self quarantine, reports 2nd coronavirus patient interaction