Second US lawmaker tests positive for coronavirus

Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah says he tested positive for COVID-19 and is in self-quarantine.

Elad Benari ,

Utah Capitol building
Utah Capitol building

A second American lawmaker announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) made the announcement in a statement quoted by KSL radio, in which he said he had mild cold-like symptoms when returned home from Washington D.C. on Saturday evening.

McAdams met with his doctor on Sunday and isolated himself at home. His symptoms worsened and he developed a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath while he remained self-quarantined.

On Tuesday, his doctor referred him for a COVID-19 test and he learned he tested positive on Wednesday.

“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 the statement.

“I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak,” he added.

"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,” McAdams said.

News that McAdams contracted the virus came hours after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) announced he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Diaz-Balart said he had been stricken with a fever and headache this weekend.

"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," his office said in a statement.

"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, D.C," the statement added.

Several lawmakers have gone into self-quarantine in recent weeks after interacting with a person who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference last month and who was later hospitalized with coronavirus.

Last week it was decided that the US Capitol would cease all public tours due to the coronavirus outbreak.