Rep. Salud Carabajal, D-Santa Barbara, announced Tuesday afternoon that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The positive test result came one day after the congressman released a statement that he had been exposed to an individual who had tested positive for coronavirus.
Rep. Carbajal said he took an initial test after discovering he was exposed, which came back negative. He was then instructed to quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms.
He began experiencing “mild symptoms” and was instructed to take another test, which came back positive on Tuesday.
“I will continue to monitor symptoms and carry out my duties virtually,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Carabajal said the “vast majority” of his staff has been working remotely and are not at risk. Those who Rep. Carbajal did interact with have been tested and are negative, or are pursuing a test, he said.
“I hope this serves (as) a reminder of how easily this virus can spread,” Rep. Carbajal said in a statement. “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. Thank you for the well wishes, I look forward to returning to the Central Coast soon as I am able.”
After he was exposed on Monday, Rep. Carbajal said that no one is immune to the virus and “Congress is certainly no exception.”
Rep. Carbajal’s Republican challenger in the Nov. 3 election, Andy Caldwell, issued a statement to the News-Press hoping that Rep. Carbajal would make a quick recovery.
“My best wishes for his full and speedy recovery,” Mr. Caldwell, who is also a News-Press columnist, said.
Many of Rep. Carbajal’s supporters replied to the congressman’s tweet announcing his positive test result, sending off their best wishes.
“Take it easy, rest and recover,” one user wrote.
“Best wishes to you for a full and rapid recovery,” wrote another. “You and your staff will be in my thoughts.”
Please see A3 for a story about Rep. Carbajal’s news conference about his Energy Opportunity Zones Act.