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Rep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19

Rep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralThe Memo: Harris, Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic divide on immigration House Democrats introduce bill to close existing gun loopholes and prevent mass shootings Hispanic Caucus energized by first Biden meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday that he tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the seventh lawmaker to contract the virus since last week’s riot in the Capitol.

Espaillat, who at 66 years old falls in a high-risk category for serious coronavirus infection, said he is quarantining at his home on the advice of his doctor. He received the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine last week, though recognized it takes time for the shot’s protections to take effect. 

“I received the second dose of the #COVID19vaccine last week and understand the affects take time. I have continued to be tested regularly, wear my mask and follow the recommended guidelines,” he tweeted. 

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“I will continue my duties representing New York’s 13th congressional district remotely until I have received clearance from my doctor. I encourage all residents to follow public health guidelines for the safety of our #NY13 community.”

He added in a follow up statement to The Hill that he is not currently experiencing any symptoms. The New York lawmaker said he was "tested regularly, including over the last two days as I have traveled from New York to Washington, DC" and that he received his positive result after taking another test Wednesday evening.

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Espaillat is just the latest in a string of lawmakers to announce coronavirus diagnoses after a mob stormed the Capitol last week and forced lawmakers to flee to their offices or other secure locations. Of the seven lawmakers who contracted the coronavirus since then, three were in a secure room during the riots with Republicans who they said refused to wear masks. 

Since Jan. 6, Reps. Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.), Michelle Steel (R-Calif.), Chuck FleischmannCharles (Chuck) Joseph FleischmannThe Memo: Biden feels the heat from all sides on immigration Biden official defends Trump-era immigration policy Rep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Tenn.), Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanTSA working on additional pipeline security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack President Biden can prevent over 4,000 people from being sent back to prison Lawmakers roll out legislation to defend pipelines against cyber threats MORE (D-N.J.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalWhite House to Democrats: Get ready to go it alone on infrastructure Black Democrats press leaders for reparations vote this month Jayapal to Dems: Ditch bipartisanship, go it alone on infrastructure MORE (D-Wash.) and Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderDemocrat says he won't introduce resolution to censure Greene after her apology Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Pelosi signals no further action against Omar MORE (D-Ill.) have all announced positive test results. Coleman, Jayapal and Schneider all said they were in a secure room with the maskless lawmakers.

“Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask … even when politely asked by their colleagues. Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” Schneider said in a statement announcing his diagnosis this week.

The House Office of the Attending Physician circulated a letter to members urging them to closely monitor their health after it was realized that at least one person who was in lockdown with them had been infected. There are also concerns rioters could have spread the virus as they ransacked the Capitol building.

Dozens of lawmakers of both parties have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and members of both chambers began receiving vaccinations last month.