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U.S. officials test positive for COVID-19, call for strict control measures
From:Xinhua  |  2020-06-17 20:06

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WASHINGTON, June 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. officials have called for stricter implementation of COVID-19 control measures after some tested positive for the virus, amid a rise of cases in the United States.

On Tuesday, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.

"My symptoms continue to be mild, and I am in regular contact with my staff in order to continue to manage the operations of my office," Raoul said in a statement.

The attorney general has been in self-quarantine since he began experiencing minor symptoms, local media reported.

Raoul's office is in the process of notifying people who may have come into contact with him so they can self-isolate and seek health guidance.

As of Tuesday, Illinois has reported 133,639 known cases, with the death toll amounting to 6,398 statewide since the start of the pandemic.

On Monday, U.S. Congressman Tom Rice said that he, his wife, and his son have tested positive for the coronavirus.

"We are all on the mend and doing fine," Rice, a South Carolina Republican, said in a Facebook post.

"We are finishing our quarantine and looking forward to seeing you all again," he said, adding that "Friends, please wash your hands and take precautions. Stay healthy. See you soon."

Six other members of U.S. Congress have also tested positive for the coronavirus and have since recovered.

U.S. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday urged people to take the pandemic more seriously, as the state's confirmed cases and hospitalizations spiked in recent days.

At a news conference in Austin, Abbott said the state, which has seen some of the biggest single-day caseloads in June so far, reached another peak on Tuesday, with 2,622 new cases reported.

Abbott urged people to stay at home as much as they can, wear masks in public, and maintain social distance to slow down the spread of the virus.

Businesses, especially bars and restaurants, should follow the state guidelines, he added.

States may need to re-implement strict social distancing measures put in place earlier this year if coronavirus cases rise "dramatically," Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jay Butler said on Friday.

In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown has placed a seven-day hold on loosening social restrictions in light of an increasing number of new cases emerging.

U.S. coronavirus cases reached 2,137,731 with 116,963 deaths on Wednesday, according to an updated tally by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.