Rep. Price to self-quarantine as precautionary measure

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Rep. David Price said he is self-quarantining as a precautionary measure after a colleague tested positive for COVID-19.

The Democrat who represents North Carolina’s 4th District is quarantined with his wife and is working from his Chapel Hill home. Two members of the House — Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) – tested positive for the disease.

“There’s a lot of communication still going on, of course,” Price told CBS 17 in a phone interview. “We’ve had constant consultation with staff members who are working on this third and major (legislative) package for recovery, which is going to address a number of housing needs that come with this crisis, as well as the situation in the airline industry and Amtrak and other transportation modes. We’re all working from home — staff is home, I’m home — but there’s plenty of communication and work going on.”

Price said he consulted with a doctor who said his contacts did not meet the requirements for a quarantine.

“I encourage all Americans to continue heeding the recommendations of public health officials and remain at home if possible.  These necessary steps will help blunt the spread of this virus,” Price said.

Price said he “would not give as positive an assessment, unfortunately” of the way the federal government handled the early stages of what became a pandemic.

“I’m aware that the president has changed his tune, and I’m glad that he has, and there will be plenty of time to look back and assess this, but I don’t think it’ll be a positive assessment for the way for so long this crisis was downplayed by the president and preparations did not take place,” Price told CBS 17. “Now we’re in a position where we have, it’s really about mitigating and controlling the spread, not really preventing it. And that’s what all these measures are about, in terms of shutting down public places and avoiding social contact and so on.

“And it does appear that people are responding to this, and those who aren’t are being called out like the spring breakers,” Price said, referring to the college-aged people seen partying recently on a beach in apparent defiance of social distancing guidelines. “Everybody needs to be on board with this, whatever they think their own vulnerability is.”

His announcement comes as the number of cases in North Carolina reached 98 Thursday morning.

Johns Hopkins University reports 9,415 coronaviruses in the U.S.

A total of 150 deaths are being blamed on the disease – none in North Carolina so far.

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