Rick Scott Becomes Seventh Republican Senator to Test Positive for COVID-19

Florida Senator Rick Scott became the seventh Republican senator to test positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

Scott announced over Twitter that after several negative tests, he tested positive for the virus Friday morning.

He said that he is "feeling good and experiencing very mild symptoms," and will work from home until it is safe for him to return to Capitol Hill.

He reminded others to practice precautionary measures to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

"Wear a mask. Socially distance. Quarantine if you come in contact with someone positive like I did. We will beat this together, but we all must be responsible. I want to thank all the incredible health care workers who are working around the clock to care for patients," Scott tweeted.

After several negative tests, I learned I was positive for COVID-19 this AM. I’m feeling good & experiencing very mild symptoms. I’ll be working from home until it’s safe for me to return to DC. I remind everyone to be careful & do the right things to protect yourselves & others.

— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) November 20, 2020
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Scott had recently been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and began his self-quarantine on November 14. He was expected to remain in isolation until November 28, but tested positive a week after coming into close contact with the virus.

A day before he started self-isolating, Scott, who is the chairman of the GOP Senate campaign arm, was seen campaigning in Georgia with Senator David Perdue and Senator Kelly Loeffler, who are both headed to the January runoff elections.

Rick Scott
US Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, speaks to the media before the weekly Senate Republican lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 10, 2020. Scott announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on November 20, 2020. Saul Loeb/AFP

The news comes three days after Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley announced he tested positive for COVID-19.

Scott and Grassley join five other Republican senators who have also contracted the virus over the course of the pandemic: Senator Rand Paul, Senator Bill Cassidy, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tills, and Senator Ron Johnson. So far, no Democrat senators have tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier in March, when the coronavirus first reached the U.S., Scott had also come into close contact with another individual who tested positive for COVID-19. But the senator remained virus-free after two weeks of isolation from March 12 to March 23.

Although Scott has opposed mandatory mask mandates throughout the ongoing health crisis, he has encouraged people to follow public health guidance and been often spotted in public wearing a mask.

In Georgia, Scott wore a mask at the indoor campaign event and only removed it to speak. However, the Florida senator was also seen shaking hands with supporters and coming within six feet of others.

In a statement released Friday, Scott urged people to take caution and reconsider gathering in large groups over the Thanksgiving weekend.

"As we approach Thanksgiving, we know this holiday will be different this year. But, listen to public health officials and follow their guidance. We will beat this together, but we all have to be responsible," Scott said. "I want to thank all the incredible health care workers who are working around the clock to care for patients and I pray that by next Thanksgiving, COVID-19 will be a thing of the past."

Updated 11:39 AM ET, with a statement from Scott.