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Sen. Ron Johnson tests positive for COVID-19

Published: Oct. 3, 2020 at 8:16 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2020 at 8:41 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Just days after coming out of a self-quarantine prompted by being exposed to someone with COVID-19, Sen. Ron Johnson has contracted the virus, his office announced Saturday morning.

According to a brief statement, the Wisconsin Republican tested positive on Friday, the same day as announcements came that President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, several members of the White House staff, and multiple other prominent Republican Senators were all infected.

Johnson is currently asymptomatic and “feel(ing) healthy,” his office explained. He is expected to remain isolated until his doctor gives him clearance to return.

The senator plans to keep working through his isolation, however. Johnson’s statement indicated they were already working remotely, and they will now go all virtual “for the immediate future.”

Johnson said he attended a fundraiser Friday night in Ozaukee County before receiving the results of his coronavirus test. He says he wore a mask except for when giving a speech, and stood far away from others at the event. Johnson said he thought it was safe to go to the event because he wasn’t experiencing symptoms, and he was tested out of an abundance of caution.

Johnson had gone into self-isolation on September 14 after learning he was exposed to someone who had tested positive. A test at that time came back negative and returned to Washington on Tuesday, after the isolation period ended.

Since then, he was exposed again, his office recounted, which led to Friday’s test. His office did not state how the senator was exposed this time.

Johnson said in a conference call that he was surprised he tested positive. Having visited the White House, Oval Office and Air Force One, he said routine testing was normal. Since he did not show any symptoms, he did not immediately quarantine after the Friday test.

“I am not sick.” Johnson said. “I have no symptoms. I certainly did not anticipate testing positive, so there was no reason to quarantine [after being tested].”

Full statement from Sen. Ron Johnson:

Senator Johnson was exposed to someone who tested positive for covid-19 on Sept. 14. He stayed in quarantine for 14 days without developing symptoms and tested negative twice during that time. He returned to Washington on Sept. 29 and shortly after was exposed to an individual who has since tested positive. After learning of this exposure, the senator was tested yesterday afternoon. This test came back positive. Senator Johnson feels healthy and is not experiencing symptoms. He will remain isolated until given the all-clear by his doctor.

Most staff in the senator’s Washington office have been working remotely. The office will go all-virtual for the immediate future.

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