Sen. Rand Paul tests positive for coronavirus

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., became the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus Sunday and will remain in quarantine, his staff announced.

The senator entered into quarantine in Kentucky and was continuing to work, while staffers in Paul’s Washington, D.C., office have been working remotely for the past 10 days, Fox News has learned. A spokesman for Paul confirmed that the senator had been at the Senate gym Sunday morning before learning of his diagnosis and leaving for Kentucky; Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas said he saw Paul at the gym and kept a safe distance.

“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine,” Paul's staff tweeted Sunday afternoon. “He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”

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"He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time," a second tweet said. "Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul."

His team later tweeted: "We want to be clear, Senator Paul left the Senate IMMEDIATELY upon learning of his diagnosis. He had zero contact with anyone & went into quarantine. Insinuations such as those below that he went to the gym after learning of his results are just completely false & irresponsible!"

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., right, sat near Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill this past Friday, two days before Paul announced he tested positive for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., right, sat near Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill this past Friday, two days before Paul announced he tested positive for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sen. Mike Lee said later Sunday, "Upon learning that my colleague Sen. Paul tested positive for COVID-19, I consulted the attending physician of the U.S. Congress... He advised me that because I have no symptoms or other risk factors, a COVID-19 test was not warranted. However, given the timing, proximity, and duration of my exposure to Sen. Paul, he directed me to self-quarantine for 14 days. That means no traveling or voting. But, I will continue to make sure Utah's voice is heard as we shape the federal response to the coronavirus through phone, text, email and whatever other means are available." A handful of other senators later said they would also self-quarantine.

"My friend (always there when I’ve needed him!), Senator @RandPaul, was just tested 'positive' from the Chinese Virus. That is not good! He is strong and will get better. Just spoke to him and he was in good spirits," President Trump tweeted Sunday night.

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Paul is the first member of the Senate known to have been infected with coronavirus, but Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, also have tested positive, as have at least two congressional staffers.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and several other members of Congress also have announced they would self-quarantine after they had possible exposure to the virus.

Fox News' Jason Donner, Ben Florance, Caroline McKee and Lauren Timmermann contributed to this report.