Utah Democrat becomes second lawmaker to test positive for coronavirus

Utah Democrat becomes second lawmaker to test positive for coronavirus
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) announced Wednesday he tested positive for the coronavirus after developing symptoms on Saturday.

McAdams, 45, is the second lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19. Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartPelosi asks House chairs to enforce mandatory mask-wearing during hearings House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Association of American Railroads Ian Jefferies says no place for hate, racism or bigotry in rail industry or society; Trump declares victory in response to promising jobs report MORE (R-Fla.), 58, announced his diagnosis shortly before the Utah Democrat.

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McAdams said in a statement he developed mild cold-like symptoms and consulted with his physician on Sunday. He had isolated himself in his home and conducted meetings via phone, he said.

“My symptoms got worse and I developed a fever, a dry cough and labored breathing and I remained self-quarantine,” he said in a statement. “On Tuesday, my doctor instructed me to get tested for COVID-19 and following his referral, I went to the local testing clinic for the test,” he said in a statement. “Today I learned I tested positive.

McAdams said, despite having the virus, he is committed to continuing working from home until he is cleared to end his quarantine.

He went on to urge the people of Utah to take the virus seriously "and follow of the recommendations we’re getting from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and other health experts."

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A number of House lawmakers are pushing for members to be able to vote remotely due to the national health crisis in an attempt to cut down the spread of the virus. But the push has been met with resistance from leaders in both parties. 

In the upper chamber lawmakers have been encouraged to practice social distancing. And top lawmakers in the House are attempting to figure out a plan for voting on the House floor when they are called back into session. 

Due to the virus, it is unclear when House lawmakers will end what was expected to be a one-week recess.