Sen. Rob Portman announces positive COVID-19 test

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) speaks at a signing ceremony for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, November 15, 2021.
Greg Nash

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on Tuesday announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday but is asymptomatic.

Portman said he took an at-home COVID-19 test ahead of returning to Washington. He will isolate for five days and work remotely for the week.

“In preparation for returning to Washington, DC, I took an at-home COVID test last night and it was positive. I am asymptomatic and feel fine. I have been in contact with the Attending Physician and my personal doctor,” Portman said in a statement.

“I am following their medical advice and following CDC guidelines and isolating for the recommended five days. I will work remotely from home this week, but will not be able to be in Washington, DC for votes,” he added.

Portman revealed in November 2020 that he was participating in a COVID-19 phase 3 vaccine clinical trial being developed by Johnson & Johnson.

Since then, he has been a vocal advocate for vaccines. In July he wrote on Twitter, “If you haven’t been vaccinated, I strongly encourage you to get your shot. It could save your life!”

Portman is the latest individual on Capitol Hill to test positive for COVID-19 amid the current wave of the pandemic, which is being driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Capitol physician Brian Monahan wrote in a memo sent to lawmakers that the seven-day average positivity rate has risen from less than one percent to greater than 13 percent.

A majority of the infections on Capitol Hill have been found among vaccinated individuals, which are referred to as breakthrough cases. The CDC says that while breakthrough infections are expected they tend to lead to less severe symptoms compared to unvaccinated individuals.

A number of lawmakers have tested positive for the virus in recent days, including Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Tags Bobby Rush Chris Coons COVID-19 Isolation omicron positive test Rob Portman

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