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U.S. Rep. Sean Casten in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19

Casten, 50, said he’s fully vaccinated and received a booster dose. He described his symptoms as ‘mild.’

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, 50, said he’s fully vaccinated and received a booster dose. He described his symptoms as “mild.”
U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, 50, said he’s fully vaccinated and received a booster dose. He described his symptoms as “mild.”
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Saturday.

In a written statement, the 50-year-old west suburban congressman said he’s fully vaccinated and received a booster dose. He described his symptoms as “mild” and said he’s in isolation, per guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I’m grateful for the miraculous work of our scientists and health care workers — and encourage everyone to get vaccinated, boosted, and mask up,” Casten said.

With the highly contagious Omicron variant spreading at unprecedented levels in Illinois and beyond, Casten is the state’s latest politician to contract the virus.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush announced he tested positive for the virus Dec. 28. The 75-year-old congressman, who just announced plans to retire after 15 terms, is also fully vaccinated and boosted.

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, also fully vaccinated, announced two days after Rush’s positive test that she had caught the virus.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday he would be working remotely out of an abundance of caution after coming in contact with a state employee who tested positive.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 42,903 new coronavirus cases. Hospitalizations across the state remain near an all-time high, with 7,096 COVID-positive patients.

The vast majority of those are unvaccinated, officials say. While Omicron is causing more breakthrough cases — infections in people who’ve been vaccinated — the vaccines have still proven highly effective at keeping people out of hospitals.

Illinois has recorded more than 2.4 million cases throughout the pandemic and 28,361 deaths.