Incoming Florida congressman tests positive for Covid-19
(CNN) -- Rep.-elect Carlos Gimenez of Florida announced Friday evening that he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 Thursday and are self-isolating in their home.
"After several negative tests, both Lourdes and I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. We are both feeling good and experiencing no symptoms at this time," Gimenez said in a statement.
"I will continue attending New Member Orientation virtually and preparing our office to serve the people of Florida's 26th Congressional District from Westchester to Key West until I can resume my normal schedule. I am extremely grateful for all of the incredible health care workers who are tirelessly dedicated to their patients."
Prior to flipping a south Florida House seat earlier this month, Gimenez, a Republican, was the mayor of Miami-Dade County. He defeated Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
His diagnosis follows a growing number of lawmakers from both parties and chambers of Congress that have announced they've tested positive.
Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia, and Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat from Nevada, announced separately on Wednesday that they had contracted the virus.
Their announcements came just days after two other lawmakers -- Reps. Bryan Steil, a Republican from Wisconsin, and Joe Courtney, a Democrat from Connecticut -- said they had been diagnosed with the virus as well.
The US on Friday marked the 25th day in a row with more than 100,000 new cases, including cases from states that didn't report on the holiday. Hospitalizations hit a new high Thursday -- for the 17th consecutive day -- with more than 90,400 Covid-19 patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
The country's death toll since the pandemic's start is now more than 264,000. And nearly another 60,000 people could lose their lives over the next three weeks, according to an ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week.
The White House coronavirus task force is recommending a significant increase in testing as well as additional, accelerated mitigation measures in its weekly reports to states.
Multiple state reports dated November 22 and obtained by CNN show a critical assessment from the task force at a time when it says Americans must undertake "significant behavior change," urging state and local officials to take proactive steps toward those ends.
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