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Diaz-Balart, McAdams are first members of Congress to report positive coronavirus test

Both say they are under self-quarantine following diagnosis

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., has tested positive for the coronavirus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two House lawmakers announced Wednesday that they had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Hours after Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart became the first member of Congress to disclose his COVID-19 diagnosis, Utah Rep. Ben McAdams followed with news of his positive test.

McAdams, a Democrat and former Salt Lake County mayor, said he developed symptoms, including a dry cough and fever, when he returned home to Utah from Washington last weekend.

“I have self-quarantined since first having symptoms and consulted with my doctor,” McAdams tweeted Wednesday evening.

Diaz-Balart, a Republican from South Florida, said in a statement that he developed symptoms last Saturday. He has remained in self-quarantine in Washington.

“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart said. “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.”

Both lawmakers fell ill shortly after voting in the House early Saturday morning on a coronavirus relief package, when more than 400 members gathered and mingled together in the House chamber.

Diaz-Balart explained that he did not leave Washington when the House adjourned. He decided not to fly home to Miami because his wife has a preexisting condition that could have put her at higher risk associated with the COVID-19 illness.

Meanwhile, Rep. Drew Ferguson announced Wednesday that he would go into self-quarantine after learning that he was in contact with a member of Congress on March 13 who has since tested positive for COVID-19.

“I am asymptomatic and will continue to work from my home in West Point, Ga,” the Georgia Republican tweeted.

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