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Rep. Carbajal tests positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with Utah Senator

Rep. Carbajal talks about having COVID-19
Rep. Carbajal has mild symptoms of COVID-19
Contributed by Carbajal

WASHINGTON D.C. - Congressman Salud Carbajal revealed Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Carbajal announced on Monday that he would be remaining in Washington D.C. for the next 14 days after he was in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. A spokeswoman for Carbajal confirmed to our newsroom that the person was Mike Lee, a Republican Senator from Utah who tested positive last week.

The congressman's initial tests came back negative, but on Tuesday Carbajal received a positive test result.

Carbajal, who represents California's 24th Congressional District, released a statement to our newsroom.

“After I began to experience mild symptoms, I was instructed to take another test today by the Attending Physician, which resulted in a positive. I will continue to monitor symptoms and carry out my duties virtually," Carbajal said in a statement. "The vast majority of my staff has been working remotely and are not at risk. Staff members who I did interact with have been tested and are negative, or are pursuing a test."

Carbajal said he hopes his diagnosis will serve as a reminder for how easily the virus can spread.

“I followed every precaution, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand-washing and unfortunately was still exposed. It is incumbent on every single one of us to take careful precautions in order to protect the health and safety of those around us."

Senator Lee has received criticism in recent days after he was seen on video mingling with others in attendance at a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden where President Trump announced his pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Lee is seen in video not wearing a face covering while hugging and embracing others who attended the ceremony.

Lee would test positive for COVID-19 days after the Rose Garden ceremony. Carbajal did not attend the ceremony.

A spokesman for Senator Lee tells our newsroom that the Senator had tested negative for COVID-19 prior to the Rose Garden ceremony.

Representatives for both Carbajal and Lee's staffs confirm that the two live near each other in the same building in Washington D.C.

Carbajal, 55, is running for reelection against Republican Andy Caldwell.

Caldwell wished him well on Tuesday.

"I wish Salud Carbajal a speedy and full recovery. I myself, I don't believe I have had COVID. I have been trying to be very cautious because I have asthma, but so far, so good, and I wish him the best," said Caldwell.

It is not clear how the diagnosis will impact Carbajal's ability to campaign.

"My symptoms to date have been mild, but I am informed they could change, they could go away, and come back, it is a very fluid process, so again please social distance, please wear a mask," said Carbajal.

Carbajal's staff said he was open to a virtual debate.

NewsChannel 3 is working to make the debate a virtual format before Election Day.

Rep. Carbajal releases video statement following COVID-19 diagnosis

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