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Aide to Brooklyn congressmember has COVID-19, staff self-quarantines

March 20, 2020 David Brand
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An aide to U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting several staffers to self-quarantine, Clarke said Thursday.

Clarke, whose 9th Congressional District stretches through a large swath of Brooklyn from Sheepshead Bay through Central Brooklyn to Prospect Park, revealed the impact of the coronavirus on her staff during an appearance on WBAI’s Driving Forces with host Jeff Simmons.

COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, “is impacting me directly,” Clarke said.

“Unfortunately, I was informed that one of my staff has contracted the coronavirus and that staff exposed themselves to other staff members, so many of my staff members, I wouldn’t say we are all, but many of my staff members are in self-quarantine because of that,” she continued.

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At least two members of Congress, U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams, have tested positive for the virus. “I’ve been affected by other colleagues contracting the virus,” Clarke said.

Clarke’s office and re-election campaign did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls seeking more information, such as information on the last time Clarke came in contact with the staff member diagnosed with COVID-19.

A spokesperson for Clarke said the person diagnosed with COVID-19 is “a part-time staffer who has not had contact with the congresswoman.”

“The congresswoman and staff are taking necessary precautions and self-isolating,” the spokesperson added. “These preliminary measures were in place prior to our knowledge that a part-time staffer tested positive.”

Clarke tweeted a statement Friday afternoon. “We are monitoring this staffer’s well-being, who is currently asymptomatic,” she said.


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