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Representative Mario Diaz-Balart becomes first member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus

Posted at 7:24 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 21:48:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — UPDATE: Georgia state Senator Brandon Beach also tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The disclosure led Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and other top Senate officials to announce they will self-isolate themselves for weeks.

Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida has become the first member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus.

"On Saturday evening, Congressman Diaz-Balart developed symptoms including a fever and headache. Just a short while ago, he was notified that he has tested positive for COVID-19," his office said in a news release.

Diaz-Balart said in a statement that he is "feeling much better" but urged the public to take the virus "extremely seriously."

At least 14 other lawmakers have announced steps to self-quarantine or otherwise isolate themselves as a precaution after coming into contact with an infected individual.