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Days ahead of swearing-in, Valadao tweets he's tested positive for COVID-19

David Valadao

David Valadao

Just days ahead of his swearing-in ceremony, incoming 21st Congressional District Rep. David Valadao said he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Valadao shared the news on Twitter Friday afternoon. He said a rapid antigen test on Thursday afternoon came back positive.

"I am now waiting for the results from my PCR test, which takes longer and is more accurate," he wrote. "I will stay home in the meantime."

Valadao did not share any other details, such as why he took the test or whether he was showing symptoms.

"The safety of my staff and fellow members of Congress is extremely important to me, so I’ll be hard at work for California’s 21st Congressional District here at home in Hanford," he wrote.

A swearing-in ceremony for the 117th Congress is scheduled to begin at noon Sunday for newly elected and re-elected members. Those who miss the swearing-in ceremony are required to take the oath at a later date, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The virus has already tragically affected the incoming class of House members. Louisiana Rep. Luke Letlow, 41, died of complications from COVID-19 on Tuesday before he could be seated in the House.

Other representatives will begin the year in isolation. Incoming Rep. María Elvira Salazar, a Republican from Florida, was diagnosed with COVID-19 during a recent trip to the hospital. She shared the news on Twitter that she would be missing her swearing-in ceremony. Returning Rep. Gwen Moore, a Wisconsin Democrat, said this week she was in isolation after she tested positive, but she has continued to vote.