Rep. Jim Cooper becomes latest lawmaker to test COVID-19 positive

Greg Nash

Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper (D) announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19, making him at least the third lawmaker of the weekend to announce a breakthrough case of the virus. 

“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” Cooper, 67, said in a tweet on Saturday. “Thankfully I only have mild symptoms because I have been vaccinated and received my booster. Everyone should be vaccinated and boosted as soon as they’re able. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Cooper is the latest of dozens of congressional lawmakers to test positive for the coronavirus as cases across the U.S. continue to surge due to the highly infectious omicron variant.

On Saturday, Reps. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) and Young Kim (R-Calif.) also announced they had tested positive for COVID-19. Like Cooper, both lawmakers are fully vaccinated and boosted. Roughly 40 U.S. congressional lawmakers have contracted breakthrough cases of the coronavirus since last summer.

Around half of the cases that have been reported among the lawmakers occurred in December, coinciding with the arrival of omicron, which was first confirmed in California early in December.

Capitol physician Brian Monahan has advised congressional offices to adopt telework when possible and to use high-quality masks such as N95s and KN95s. 

Monahan released a report last week showing that the seven-day average positivity rate from COVID-19 tests in the Capitol had spiked from around 1 percent to 13 percent. 

Tags Jim Cooper Jim Cooper SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant Sean Casten U.S. House of Representatives United States responses to the COVID-19 pandemic Young Kim

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