Rep. Doug Collins, who has served Stephens County residents as their representative in the U.S. House since 2013, has announced his exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, and has placed himself on voluntary quarantine. Collins met with President Donald Trump this past weekend in Atlanta.
US Representative Doug Collins, 53, announced last night, March 9, that he has self-quarantined himself after learning that he had been in physical contact with an individual who later tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Collins has served as Georgia's 9th Congressional District Representative since Jan 3, 2013. Collins recently announced his 2020 primary challenge against Sen. Kelly Loeffler for the U.S. Senate seat recently vacated by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler following Isakson's announcement in late 2019 that he was resigning due to health concerns.
“"This afternoon, I was notified by CPAC that they discovered a photo of myself and the patient who has tested positive for coronavirus. While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution," Collins stated in the press release posted to his website. "I will follow the recommendations of the House Physician and my office will provide updates as appropriate."
The contact came at a Conservative Political Action Conference, held Feb. 27 through March 1 in Maryland. Collin's contact with the infected individual occurred nine days prior to his notification yesterday of the contact, according to a comment made to AccessWDUN. This would put the conclusion of his 14-day quarantine on this Thursday, March 12.
Collins met with President Donald Trump over this past weekend, greeting him with a handshake on the tarmac at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta Friday, March 6. He then joined Trump on a tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
“I saw firsthand how the administration and our health officials are working to contain coronavirus,” he tweeted. “Rest assured, the resources are in place to help protect the American people from COVID-19.”
ConnnectLocal has contacted Collins’ staff, requesting a phone interview regarding his condition and the status of Georgia’s preparedness for COVID-19, but has yet to hear back. Meanwhile, Collins has been active on social media, Tweeting approximately an hour ago that he was joining Charles Payne on FoxNews.
He also posted a message urging calm and caution in dealing with COVID-19.
“The American people can be reassured that @realDonaldTrump and @VP Pence have been preparing for this moment, but there are actions that You and your families can take to stop the spread of the #coronavirus.”
Collin specifically mentioned Wash your hands with soap for 20+ seconds; avoid touching your face; cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze; stay home if you are sick; contact your health care provider if you exhibit symptoms.
ConnectLocal will update this story as more information becomes available.