Two members of a group of roughly 80 municipal officials from Colorado that traveled to Washington last week for a conference and met with Colorado’s congressional delegation have tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Both showed symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, during their time in Washington.
The entire group, which included representatives from 22 Colorado towns and cities, has been advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. That includes Kevin Bommer, the executive director of the Colorado Municipal League, who confirmed the infections on Wednesday.
Bommer said neither he nor anyone else in the group — other than the people who tested positive — is sick or showing symptoms of the virus. The Colorado Municipal League organized and led the trip and were notified about the confirmed infections on Tuesday.
“In order to protect these individuals’ confidentiality, the League will not be releasing names or other details about them,” CML said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of CML members and the public, the League notified attendees that they may have come into contact with an infected individual.”
The group was in Washington for the National League of Cities convention, which was held from March 8-11. The NLC, in a bulletin to its scores of attendees from across the country, says it was notified that two people who “were active participants in the conference — attending general sessions and workshops” — had tested positive for the illness.
The Colorado group, including the people who became ill, also met — as a whole — with several members of Colorado’s congressional delegation over March 10 and 11, including U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, and U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn and Jason Crow.
Crow, an Aurora Democrat, and Gardner, a Colorado Republican, both announced Tuesday they had entered self-quarantine as a precaution after being notified by the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Douglas, Adams and Arapahoe counties, that they had contact with a visiting constituent on March 11 who later tested positive for coronavirus.
Neither Crow nor Gardner has symptoms of the virus.
The health department did not tell Crow or Gardner who exposed them to the virus. But Gardner did meet individually with several municipal groups that were part of the Colorado Municipal League contingent, Gardner’s spokeswoman said.
A spokeswoman for Crow said the congressman also held individual meetings with municipals groups that were part of the Colorado Municipal League contingent.
Bennet also was notified by Tri-County of a possible exposure to the virus during a March 11 interaction with a Coloradan who later tested positive for coronavirus. It’s unclear if he met one-on-one with members of the Colorado Municipal League delegation.
“Michael has consulted with the attending physician of the U.S. Congress who said that self-quarantining was not necessary and advised him to monitor his health; isolate in his home and office; and continue to practice social distancing and other protective measures,” Bennet’s spokeswoman Courtney Gidner said in a written statement. “Michael is following the advice of medical professionals and encourages everyone to do the same.”
A spokeswoman for Lamborn says the congressman was not contacted by Tri-County Health.
The Colorado Municipal League has reached out to the several points of contact its group had during the Washington trip — including a bus company and caterers — to make sure they are aware of the potential exposure.
The ill people are doing OK and recovering, the Municipal League reports.