Memphis City Council members possibly exposed to COVID-19 at DC conference

Memphis City Council members possibly exposed to COVID-19 at DC conference

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some Memphis City Council members are finding out they may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a conference that ended last week in Washington, DC.

Seven Memphis City Council members traveled to DC for the National League Of Cities Congressional City Conference held March 8 through March 11. Three council staffers also went.

Tuesday attendees got word two people at the conference tested positive for COVID-19. Both attendees were from Colorado. That state has reported nearly 200 cases with nearly 20 percent of cases being community spread.

“It caught me by surprise yesterday,” said council member Martavius Jones, who attended. “It’s hard when you have that many people from that many places to be as careful as you needed to be, so that’s why it’s concerning.”

Jones said conference organizers passed out hand-sanitizer and wipes. They also said all meetings were handshake free.

The Memphis delegation attended group sessions and later met with Tennessee lawmakers on the hill.

“I take it seriously because we don’t want it spread in our community,” said council chair Patrice Robinson, who also attended. “We want to be able to control the virus and not let it get out of hand.”

Robinson said council members have been told to monitor any symptoms they may have. That’s reflected in guidance the National League of Cities passed along from DC Public Health, the jurisdiction where the conference took place.

Robinson said at this point no Memphis City Council members who attended are showing signs of illness.

Memphis City Council members are scheduled to meet on Tuesday. They are working through plans for that to be a remote meeting. Plans will be finalized in the coming days.

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