Florida Rep.-elect Elvira Salazar tests positive for COVID-19

Florida Rep.-elect Elvira Salazar tests positive for COVID-19
© Greg Nash

Rep.-elect Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) announced Thursday that she tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the latest in a growing list of current or incoming lawmakers who have contracted the virus.

Elvira Salazar said in a statement that she was admitted to Doctors Hospital on Dec. 23 with heart arrhythmia. She was subsequently tested for the coronavirus and received a positive diagnosis.

The incoming lawmaker did not specify any symptoms she experienced but said in the statement that she was “getting better each day” and that she was released from the hospital once in “stable condition.” She is currently isolating in her home for 14 days on the recommendation of her doctors. 

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“I am incredibly thankful to the tireless front-line medical workers in our community who help so many people combatting the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “I look forward to hitting the ground running for my community, once it is medically permissible.” 

Elvira Salazar said her diagnosis means she will not be able to attend the congressional swearing-in ceremony on Sunday during which she was scheduled to formally assume her office.

The Florida Republican flipped a Democratic-held House seat in South Florida in the November elections, defeating Rep. Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaPelosi, Schumer must appoint new commissioners to the CARES Act oversight panel Stephanie Murphy won't run for Senate seat in Florida next year Crist launches bid for Florida governor, seeking to recapture his old job MORE in one of the most high-profile GOP House victories.

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Dozens of members of the House and the Senate have already contracted the coronavirus since the outbreak began in the U.S. Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R) died on Tuesday after being hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Lawmakers began receiving coronavirus vaccines earlier this month on Capitol Hill under continuity of government policies, though a small number have declined to receive shots before they are widely available to the general public. 

The U.S. has tallied about 19.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases, and more than 342,000 people in the country have died from the illness.