Fla. Sen. Rick Scott Tests Positive For COVID-19

By Carolina Bolado
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Law360 (November 20, 2020, 12:49 PM EST) -- U.S. Sen. Rick Scott announced Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus and was quarantining at home in Naples, Florida.

Scott, R-Florida, said he came into contact with someone who was COVID-19 positive on Nov. 13 on his return to Florida after campaigning in Georgia with Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both of whom are facing runoff elections for their seats on Jan. 5.

Scott said that various rapid tests came back negative earlier in the week, but that a PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, test he took on Tuesday morning resulted in a positive. Florida's junior senator said he was experiencing "very mild symptoms" and would stay home in Naples until it is safe for him to return to Washington, D.C.

"I want to remind everyone to be careful and do the right things to protect yourselves and others," Scott said in a statement. "Wear a mask. Social distance. Quarantine if you come in contact with someone positive like I did. As we approach Thanksgiving, we know this holiday will be different this year. But listen to public health officials and follow their guidance."

Current guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming within six feet for 15 minutes or more of someone who has COVID-19. The virus is responsible for nearly 250,000 deaths nationwide.

Scott is the second U.S. senator to test positive for COVID-19 in the last week. On Tuesday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced that he had the coronavirus and was quarantining at home.

The absences of Grassley and Scott allowed Senate Democrats to block a procedural vote to begin considering Judy Shelton's nomination to the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, which is opposed by Senate Democrats and several GOP lawmakers.

On Monday, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., said they had tested positive. Last week, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who is 87 years old and is the longest-serving member of the House, said he had tested positive for the virus.

--Additional reporting by Stephen Cooper. Editing by Alyssa Miller and Peter Rozovsky.

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