South Carolina GOP congressman Tom Rice says he and his family tested positive for coronavirus

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Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., said Monday he and his family tested positive for COVID-19. 

Rice wrote on Facebook that he, his son and his wife had all contracted the “Wuhan Flu,” but all were “on the mend and doing fine.”

He said that his son had felt the worst of the symptoms, but after a week was “moving around and eating a little.” Rice said his symptoms were mild, but he had completely lost his sense of taste or smell. “CAN’T TASTE BACON!!!” he added.

“And the really good thing is.....our household is DONE WITH CORONAVIRUS!” Rice wrote. “We are finishing our quarantine and looking forward to seeing you all again. Friends, please wash your hands and take precautions.”

Scientists have not yet determined whether a coronavirus infection prevents reinfection in the future, or for how long immunity might last.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, said in a recent interview: “One can say that if you have recovered from infection, it is highly likely you’ll be protected from reinfection for a finite period of time, varying from person-to-person because of biologically variability. We don’t know how long that finite period will be. It could be years, or a year.”

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South Carolina is one of a handful of states where coronavirus cases continue to rise. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 799 new cases and one new death for Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 18,795 and deaths to 600.

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., speaks with a staffer before the start of the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Trumps budget proposals for fiscal year 2018 on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (Getty)

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., speaks with a staffer before the start of the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Trumps budget proposals for fiscal year 2018 on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (Getty)

Over the past three weeks, 40 percent of the state’s total number of cases have been diagnosed, and while testing has increased, the state’s positivity rate still remains high. The positivity rate, the number of people who test positive out of the number tested, was at 12 percent in the state in the beginning of last week but was 14.4 percent for Friday.

“As the number of tests being performed increases, so do the number of cases, we would expect that,” Dr. Joan Duwve, with DHEC, said. “However, that percent positive rate continues to increase, as well, which tells us that we are finding more real cases -- not just cases that were asymptomatic and not otherwise diagnosed.”

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has said another lockdown would not be feasible for his state.

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"If closing all the businesses were the answer, the places that have done that would be doing great, but they're not...You can't take people's livelihoods away,” McMaster said last week, according to WIS 10. Instead, he implored residents to wear masks and follow social distancing, but said he will not be enforcing either.