Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) on Jan. 11 said she’d tested positive for COVID-19.
The Democrat’s office said Coleman took a rapid antigen test and the result came back positive. The office said Coleman believes she was exposed when she was sheltering in place during the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol because some colleagues weren’t wearing masks.
Attending Physician of Congress Dr. Brian Monahan told members of Congress on Jan. 10 that many members of the House “were in protective isolation in [a] room located in a large committee hearing space.” He wrote that people may have been exposed to another occupant with COVID-19. He said everyone should get tested this week as a precaution.
Coleman said in a statement: “I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”
Antigen tests are less reliable than PCR tests. Coleman is awaiting the results of a PCR test.
Coleman recently got a COVID-19 vaccine. Many members of Congress received a shot as part of the government’s continuity plans, though some did not.
Dozens of representatives have tested positive over the past year. None have appeared to require hospitalization, and all eventually recovered.
A majority of patients with COVID-19 show few or no symptoms and recover after several weeks. A subset are taken to the hospital. A small percentage die.