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Scott G Winterton, KSL, File

Utah Rep. Ben McAdams tests positive for COVID-19

By Lauren Bennett, | Updated - Mar. 18, 2020 at 9:22 p.m. | Posted - Mar. 18, 2020 at 6:33 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, he said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

The congressman had mild cold-like symptoms when returned home from Washington D.C. on Saturday evening, the statement explained.

McAdams met with his doctor on Sunday and isolated himself at home. His symptoms worsened and he developed a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath while he remained self-quarantined.

On Tuesday, his doctor referred him for a COVID-19 test and he learned he tested positive on Wednesday.

“I am still working for Utahns and pursuing efforts to get Utahns the resources they need as I continue doing my job from home until I know it is safe to end my self-quarantine,” McAdams said in a statement. “I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.”

“I don’t know where I contracted it,” McAdams told KSL on Wednesday, noting it can take up to two weeks from initial exposure to show symptoms.

He’s been on multiple airplanes in that time and had multiple meetings but added that as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended limiting social contact, he’s followed those guidelines.

“Even though I was following all of the recommendations, I was still exposed to it and it just highlights how important it is to take this seriously, that we do everything we can to follow the recommendations.”

“It feels like a really bad cold for me,” McAdams said, noting he is “relatively young and relatively healthy.”

He emphasized the importance of limiting the spread to more vulnerable populations.

“We need to slow the spread so that our hospital system can manage the influx of people who are going to come and so we have to take this seriously,” McAdams said.

McAdams appears to be the second congressperson to test positive for the virus.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier on Wednesday, Politico reported.

As of Wednesday, 63 Utah residents and visitors had tested positive for the disease, the Utah Department of Health reported. It wasn't immediately clear if that number included McAdam's case.

"I urge Utahns to take this seriously and follow the health recommendations we’re getting from the CDC and other health experts, so that we can recover from this public health threat,” McAdams said.

Contributing: Doug Wright, KSL NewsRadio

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