The U.S. Capitol will reportedly put a stop to all public tours until the end of the month.
According to a Politico report Wednesday evening, multiple congressional sources said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) informed members of the planned move during a Wednesday afternoon meeting. However, a change to the legislative schedule has not officially been announced.
Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim also reported the news in a Wednesday evening tweet.
NEWS — The House and Senate sergeant-at-arms are preparing to announce that they will stop tours of the Capitol due to the coronavirus pandemic, per two congressional officials
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) March 11, 2020
The reported move by the Capitol to halt public tours comes within hours of the World Health Organization announcing Wednesday that COVID-19, the disease resulting from the novel coronavirus, is now considered a pandemic.
On Monday, Pelosi told Capitol Hill reporters that doesn’t foresee the closure of the Capitol amid an increase in coronavirus cases across the country. She added that “there’s no reason” to change the House’s schedule either.
Earlier Wednesday, Politico reported that Pelosi wasn’t the only congressional lawmaker with that sentiment. Politico noted that in addition to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) agreeing that the Capitol should stay open, Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said Wednesday: “We got the attending physician and the rules committee obviously we’ll listen to them, they’re the experts, but there are no plans about that at the moment.”
Thune also told Politico that he has not fielded any requests to cancel tours and that he thinks “we want to stay on business as usual here.”
Over the past three days, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) announced that they were self-quarantining after coming in contact with an attendee at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) less than two weeks ago who later tested positive for coronavirus.
The White House confirmed late Monday night that President Trump has yet to be tested for COVID-19 despite recently coming into contact with several Republican lawmakers who are now under self-quarantine.
Read Politico’s report here.