A second member of Congress announced that they tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.
Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah, the state’s only US House lawmaker in the Democratic Party, said he developed “mild cold-like symptoms” upon his return from Washington, DC, on Saturday. After consulting with a doctor, he self-quarantined himself; however, his symptoms worsened.
“I developed a fever, a dry cough, and labored breathing and I remained self-quarantined,” McAdams said in a statement.
McAdams eventually got tested on Tuesday and received the results the next day.
“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,” McAdams said in his statement. “I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.”
“I urge Utahns to take this seriously and follow the health recommendations we’re getting from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and other health experts so that we can recover from this public health threat,” McAdams added.
McAdams’s statement comes moments after Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus. Diaz-Balart was the first congressional lawmaker to confirm he tested positive.
In a statement from his office, the Republican lawmaker said he also developed symptoms on Saturday. Instead of returning back to his home state, Diaz-Balart self-quarantined at his apartment in Washington, DC.
“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement.
“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,” he added. “We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
Diaz-Balart’s offices are closed and his staff members will also be quarantined, press secretary Laura Hernandez told Insider reporter Kayla Epstein. As of Wednesday evening, two congressional staffers have tested positive. Many employees from both congressional chambers have been sent home amid the ongoing outbreak in the US.
At least 129 deaths from the coronavirus were reported in the US on Wednesday. At least 8,006 cases were recorded, with patients ranging from the contiguous states and US territories, including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.