Downstate Rep. Mike Bost announced Friday he’s tested positive for COVID-19 after coming down with “a mild cough and a rapid loss of both taste and smell.”
The Republican congressman said in a statement that his public schedule is on hold and his meetings will go virtual as he isolates at home just a few weeks ahead of Election Day.
“We are taking this situation seriously and will continue to serve the people of Southern Illinois while doing our best to ensure their health and safety,” Bost said. “I will provide additional updates in the days ahead and am anxious to get back to work as soon as I make a full recovery.”
Bost staffers are quarantining and awaiting test results of their own. His office is also “beginning the process of reaching out to any constituents I’ve met with in recent days.”
Among his contacts was fellow GOP congressman Rep. Rodney Davis, with whom Bost appeared at a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville event on Tuesday.
Davis himself previously tested positive for the coronavirus in early August. As a result, a spokesman for Davis said the congressman “does not need to quarantine because he falls under the category of having a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the previous 3 months. He follows the CDC guidelines as best as he can and will continue to adhere to them.”
Bost is seeking a fourth term representing the 12th Congressional District, facing Democratic challenger Ray Lenzi. Davis, whose 13th Congressional District spans the central-southwest portion of the state including Springfield, faces a tight race to hold on for a fifth term against Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.
Both Bost and Davis are honorary chairs of the Illinois campaign of President Donald Trump, who has routinely flouted public health guidelines while recovering from his own case of COVID-19.