A congressman from Utah announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus that originated in China, which marks the second member of Congress to test positive for the virus.
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) made the announcement on Twitter, saying that he self-quarantined since he first started developing symptoms.
“On Saturday evening, after returning from Washington, D.C., I developed mild cold-like symptoms. In consultation with my doctor on Sunday, I immediately isolated myself in my home,” McAdams said in a statement. “I have been conducting all meetings by telephone. My symptoms got worse and I developed a fever, dry cough and labored breathing and I remained self-quarantined.”
“On Tuesday, my doctor instructed my to get tested for COVID-19 and following his referral, I went to the local testing clinic for the test,” McAdams continued. “Today I learned that I tested positive. I am still working for Utahns and pursuing efforts to get Utahns the resources they need as I continue doing my job from home until I know it is safe to end my self-quarantine. I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.”
McAdams concluded, “I urge Utahns to take this seriously and follow the health recommendations we’re getting from the CDC and other health experts so that we can recover from this public health threat.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) announced his diagnosis on Twitter, writing: “I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better. However, it is important that everyone take this extremely seriously and follow CDC guidelines in order to avoid getting sick and mitigate the spread of this virus. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
A statement from his office said, “In an abundance of caution, after votes on Friday, March 13th, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart decided to self-quarantine in Washington, D.C, and not return to South Florida because of his wife Tia’s pre-existing conditions that put her at exceptionally high risk. On Saturday evening, Congressman Diaz-Balart developed symptoms, including a fever and a headache. Just a short while ago, he was notified that he has tested positive for COVID-19. While in quarantine Diaz-Balart has been working from his apartment in Washington, DC.”
Numerous elected officials have self-quarantined after reportedly coming into contact with people who later tested positive for the virus.
Those who have self-quarantined themselves include Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA).
The coronavirus has so far been detected in 156 countries or regions around the world with well over 200,000 people having been infected and over 8,500 deaths confirmed.
This report has been updated to include additional information.