U.S. House Republican Morgan Griffith tests positive for coronavirus

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FILE PHOTO: Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) asks questions to Dr. Richard Bright during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) asks questions to Dr. Richard Bright during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said on Tuesday, making him at least the 10th member of Congress with a COVID-19 infection either confirmed or presumed by doctors.

Griffith, 62, has been in self-imposed isolation since being tested.

"Although he does not currently have significant symptoms, he will continue to self-isolate as he performs his duties" on behalf of his Virginia district, the statement said.

A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Griffith has participated in hearings and news conferences on Capitol Hill, including an outdoor news conference last week to push for reopening U.S. schools.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month called on committee chairmen to require members to wear masks during proceedings, after a number of Republican lawmakers defied public health recommendations.

Coronavirus cases have recently increased in areas of Virginia outside the Washington suburbs. Griffith represents the state's 9th Congressional District in the southwest, along the state's borders with West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.

At least nine other House and Senate members have tested positive for the coronavirus, been presumed by physicians to have the virus or have been shown to possess antibodies to the pathogen.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)