Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) on Jan. 11 said she has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Democrat’s office said Watson Coleman took a rapid antigen test and the result came back positive. The office said Watson 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.
Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of congress, 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, and everyone should get tested this week as a precaution.
Watson 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. Watson Coleman is awaiting the results of a PCR test.
Watson Coleman recently received a COVID-19 vaccine. Many members of Congress have received the vaccine as part of the government’s continuity plans, though some haven’t.
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 is taken to the hospital. A small percentage die.