Vermont’s Welch negative for virus exposure, returning to Washington

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Peter Welch

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., asks questions during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 19, 2019. (AP / Jacquelyn Martin)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat, has tested negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 and is planning to return to Washington so he can participate in the debate about impeaching President Donald Trump, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Welch had been “taking extreme caution” in Vermont after his possible exposure to the virus while he was in a secure location during last week’s last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The congressman was wearing a mask while in the secure location and he had no contact with any of the members who were not wearing masks or the representative who later tested positive for the virus, Welch spokesman Lincoln Peek said Monday.

“The Office of the House Attending Physician has advised him that it is safe for him to return to Washington to participate in person during House floor activity, including the impeachment debate and vote,” Peek said Tuesday morning in an e-mail. “He will be returning to Washington this afternoon.”

A number of Republican members of Congress were not wearing masks while at the secure location and at least one member of Congress has tested positive for the virus.

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