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Representatives warned to get tested after possible COVID exposure in safe room during Capitol riots

Capitol Hill Capitol Building Capitol Dome
Posted at 7:47 PM, Jan 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 02:13:19-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Representatives rushed to get tested for coronavirus Sunday after the attending physician to members of the US Congress alerted they might have been exposed during Wednesday's riots on Capitol Hill.

The email from Dr. Brian P. Monahan stated, "many members of the House community were in protective isolation in room located in a large committee hearing space. The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection."

He urged everyone to get tested and take precautions prevent further spread the virus.

San Diego Rep. Scott Peters was in that room, "the police were able to get us off of the house floor. We went down a series of staircases and through the tunnels to a congressional meeting room where everybody who had been collected for the proceedings was there. So all the people who were presenting on behalf of the Republicans, Democrats."

He estimates about 150 people were in the room for about three hours.

"There wasn't really an opportunity to spread out and just about everyone was in masks but some people for apparently ideological reasons refused to wear a mask. They were available," he said.

ABC 10News confirmed Representatives Mike Levin and Juan Vargas were not at the Capitol Wednesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa has not stated publicly if he was there.

Newly elected Rep. Sarah Jacobs was in the Gallery, "We heard protestors banging on the door behind us. We heard gunshots and bangs. We were told to take our emergency escape hoods out from under the seats because tear gas had just been used in the Rotunda. As we put on our gas masks, hid under our chairs, eventually we were told to evacuate. We had to run to the other side of the House Gallery... We had to climb under railings and over chairs. I have bruises still on my side as a result. At one point Capitol Police told us to take our Congressional pins off so that we would be less recognizable... I've spent time overseas. I've spent time working in post conflict settings and this is probably the most scared I've ever been for my life."

She was in a safe room and tested Sunday, according to her Communications Director.

We are waiting to hear back on her results.

"I just had the test taken, it's been about four days since we were gathered together," Peters said.

He confirmed late Sunday he tested negative.

Peters said he doesn't know when he'll be returning to Capitol Hill, saying it depends on the schedule.