WASHINGTON D.C. – South Florida congressman Mario Diaz-Balart has tested positive for COVID-19.
In a release sent by his office, Diaz-Balart (FL-25) received word on Wednesday that a test he took over the weekend had come back positive.
He is the first member of the United State Congress to test positive for coronavirus.
“I feel like when you have the flu, and then get over it, and you’re left feeling weak, with a lingering cough,” Diaz-Balart said Wednesday in a phone conversation with Local 10 News’ Ross Palombo.
Diaz-Balart was on the House floor on Saturday as lawmakers passed the Coronavirus Families First Response Act, which was voted through the Senate on Wednesday.
He said Wednesday he came into contact with “literally hundreds" of people on Capitol Hill before he self-isolated.
The 58-year-old South Florida native began feeling symptoms of coronavirus on Saturday night, including fever and a headache.
He then decided to self-quarantine in Washington D.C., where he will remain.
“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. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
There is no word yet on what actions may be taken by the House now that the first member of Congress has tested positive.
So far, 14 other lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Scott from Florida, have been self-isolating as a precaution.