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2 Pa. senators have COVID-19 after Gettysburg hearing with Giuliani: Here's the latest


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The supporters who filled the packed ballroom at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg a week ago may be at risk of testing positive for COVID-19, but it's unclear if the state is doing any contact tracing to find out. 

"We have told Pennsylvanians who attended any large event to contact their health care provider if they have questions about their health and remind them that testing is available," said Nate Wardle, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

"We also have encouraged them to download the COVID Alert PA exposure notification application so that if they test positive or came in contact with someone who has, the app will provide anonymous notifications."

It's quite possible the attendees were exposed to the virus after spending hours in the room filled with mostly unmasked people where President Donald J. Trump's personal lawyer made unproven claims of election fraud.

More: Pa. GOP lawmakers host Giuliani to hear election concerns. Trump visits via cell phone

More: Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania: Here's how he reclaimed his home state and the 'blue wall'

The Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee held the meeting the day before Thanksgiving to discuss issues with the election, and two Republican state senators who were there have already tested positive for COVID-19. 

At the meeting, Rudy Giuliani and some poll watchers said there were irregularities in the election, and Trump phoned in to again call it "rigged," but multiple state and federal judges have said the campaign has lacked evidence to prove those claims. Those judges include conservative Republicans. 

Hours after the event in Gettysburg, the state senator who called for the session tested positive for COVID-19. As first reported by the Associated Press, Sen. Doug Mastriano was informed of his positive test while at a West Wing meeting with Trump hours after the hearing last week.

Mastriano, a Republican from Adams County, said in a Facebook Live video Monday that his symptoms are "pretty mild." He said he did not have a fever and expected his quarantine to end "pretty quick." 

Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, a Republican, told Spotlight PA: “Clearly, mistakes were made. And that is life — we all make mistakes and it’s now our job to review it.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shortened the recommended quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days.  

Sen. Judy Ward, a Republican from Blair County, revealed that she also has tested positive and believes she became infected during a Thanksgiving gathering. 

The governor, state Department of Health and Senate pandemic guidelines call for limiting the size of gatherings. State health officials say indoor gatherings should not exceed 10 percent of maximum capacity. It was not immediately clear what maximum capacity was in the Wyndham ballroom. 

Gov. Tom Wolf and state health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said masks must be worn outside the home, and few people wore masks during the committee meeting last week that lasted more than three hours. 

Those in the room should monitor themselves for symptoms until Tuesday, Dec. 8. Anyone with potential exposure should stay in a 10-day quarantine through Friday, Dec. 4, according to CDC guidelines. 

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It is unclear if anyone is following those guidelines or if more state lawmakers have been tested. Multiple Republican state senators and members of Senate leadership have not responded to questions. 

Hospital systems have referred questions to the state Department of Health, which continues to point people to the COVID Alert PA app and their health care providers. 

Meanwhile, positive cases continue to climb. 

State officials reported 8,291 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the statewide count to more than 375,000. More than 4,700 patients are hospitalized across Pennsylvania, with 967 patients in intensive care units. 

There were 194 new coronavirus-related deaths added Tuesday, and more than 10,000 people have died from the infection in Pennsylvania. Most of the people who have died were older than 65. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Candy Woodall is a reporter for the USA Today Network. She can be reached at 717-480-1783 or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.

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