First US Congress member tests positive for coronavirus

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 19 2020 10:27 AM

US Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) speaks during an interview for Reuters on Capitol Hill in Washington February 14, 2017. Yuri Gripas, Reuters/file

WASHINGTON - A Florida lawmaker became the first member of the US Congress to test positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart's office said in a statement that "just a short while ago, he was notified that he has tested positive for COVID-19."

The Republican, who represents part of Miami, follows Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus last week.

Diaz-Balart said that he had entered into quarantine and was working from his Washington apartment.

"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," he said.

The United States so far has just over 7,300 cases and more than 110 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

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