US Rep. Joe Wilson announced Wednesday evening that he has tested positive for Covid-19 and will go into isolation through the holidays.
The South Carolina Republican, who spoke on the House floor earlier in the day, said in a statement: “Earlier this evening I learned that I have tested positive for COVID-19. I will be taking all necessary precautions, as directed by the House Physician.”
“Thankfully I feel fine and do not have any symptoms. It is so important that we all do our part to help prevent the spread of this virus.”
Wilson is the latest member to test positive for Covid-19. He was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to vote and spoke on the House floor at 2 p.m. ET. He kept his face mask on following new rules from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that members must keep them on when they address the chamber from the floor.
Wilson, 73, joins a considerable number of lawmakers from both parties and chambers of Congress who have announced they’ve tested positive for Covid-19 in recent weeks. According to CNN’s tally, 48 lawmakers – 37 House members (26 Republicans, 11 Democrats) and 11 senators (nine Republicans and two Democrats) – have tested positive for coronavirus or for its antibodies. Included in that total are two members who were diagnosed in March as “presumed positive” before tests were widely available.
Rep. Rick Allen, a Georgia Republican, and Rep. Susie Lee, a Nevada Democrat, announced separately last month 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 Covid.
The rise in cases on Capitol Hill comes as the pandemic continues to reach new heights across the country, with the US averaging about 212,000 new cases every day, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
And the numbers could grow even higher if Americans opt to travel and gather unsafely for the holidays. Experts have warned for weeks against traditional celebrations to avoid further spread of the virus, which could in turn lead to another surge of Covid-19 cases.
The unsettling presence of the virus in Congress underscores the unique challenges facing lawmakers as they grapple with negotiating stimulus relief for Americans while taking steps to avoid spreading the virus themselves.
In his House floor speech earlier Wednesday, Wilson praised President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response as vaccinations begin across the US. He was wearing a face mask during his remarks.
This story has been updated with additional information Wednesday.
CNN’s Daniella Diaz and Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.