Washington, DC – Today, the Office of the Sergeant at Arms announced their decision to limit access to the Capitol complex in order to protect Members, staff, and visitors. As such, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) will temporarily close his Washington, D.C. office to visitors starting Friday, March 13, 2020 and allow D.C.-based staff to telecommute during this time.
In making this decision, Congressman Kinzinger released the following statement:
“As we face this record-breaking flu season and the rapidly growing concerns over the coronavirus, information is power and taking precautions is critical. It’s important that we equip people with all the tools they need to stay healthy, and take the necessary actions to ensure their safety. And the same goes for my staff.
“With the number of visitors coming to Capitol Hill each day, the risks of exposure to this highly contagious respiratory illness increases drastically. For weeks, I’ve been asking colleagues and House leadership to take action to protect the thousands who visit these buildings every day and those who work here. I’ve been disappointed by the inaction and find it irresponsible to put the health and safety of tourists, staff, visitors, and Members at such risk. This situation deserves leadership and a sensible course of action, and so today, I’m taking matters into my own hands.
“Effective tomorrow, my Rayburn office will be closed to outside visitors and my Washington, D.C. staff will be asked to telework until further notice. They will be promptly available by phone and email, as always, and I do not anticipate any disruption in our operations. My offices across the 16th Congressional District of Illinois will remain open and operating as usual, and staff there will take the necessary steps to ensure their safety and the safety of our constituents. Please continue to call and reach out, and we will be ready to address your concerns.
“The reality is that the spread of the coronavirus is a pandemic and it deserves to be taken seriously. Taking this seriously does not mean it’s a cause for panic or fear-mongering. We are a strong, capable nation and I know that if we make practical decisions, prepare ourselves as best we can, and support each other, we will pull through this crisis and come out even stronger on the other side. The United States is battle-tested and combat-proven, and the coronavirus is just another challenge. I’m confident we will rise to the occasion and overcome this together.”
Congressman Kinzinger and staff have spoken with local health care providers, and will continue to monitor coronavirus cases across Illinois. As of today, there are 25 confirmed cases in the state. The Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday additional funding for state and local entities in Illinois, which will help in providing test materials and resources for medical centers.