Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, Quarantined After Doctor Tests Positive for Coronavirus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quarantined Sunday after she recently met with a doctor who rested positive for the coronavirus. Just hours earlier, Merkel announced drastic policies to help slow the spread of the coronavius in Germany. The new social distancing rules ban gatherings of more than two people, recommended people be about 5 feet away from each other and closing all nonessential businesses.

On Sunday, Merkel was told she was in contact with a doctor on Friday, and the doctor later tested positive. Her spokesman Steffen Seibert said the 65-year-old will continue working from home. Siebert said she would have "regular tests" in the next few days. She also received a precautionary vaccine against pneumococcal infection Friday, reports the Associated Press.

Earlier in the day, Merkel thanked the "overwhelming majority" of Germans for following rules on social distancing, and assured citizens her life was also changed by the measures. "I know that it means sacrifice," she said. "I’m moved by the fact that so many are abiding by these rules. This way we show care for older and sick people, because the virus is most dangerous to them. In short: we are saving lives with this."

Merkel noted her life now "consists largely of phone calls and video conferences."

"With a certain distance the risk of infections is reduced almost to zero," Merkel added. "Whether you are half a meter apart or 1.5 meters apart makes a huge difference."

Merkel shared a nine-point plan on Sunday, reports Deutsche Welle. The list includes banning gatherings of more than two people, except for families; keeping contact with others at a minimum; keeping a distance of about 5 feet between people; closing sit-down restaurants; and closing businesses like hairdressers. Merkel said employees could still commute to work, as long as the guidelines are being followed. The measures will stay in place for at least two weeks.

There are more than 328,000 coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Germany has 23,900 cases, 92 reported deaths and 266 recovered cases.

In the U.S., both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have tested negative for the coronavirus. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's office announced he tested positive on Sunday.

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"Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19," his office wrote. "He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with an infected person. He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time."

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