Sen. Angus King of Maine tested positive for COVID-19 in Maine on Thursday morning, his office announced.

The independent senator took the test as a precaution after he began feeling under the weather Wednesday, his office said.

King, 77, said since COVID-19 first hit the United States he has followed all the recommended guidance and protocols in an effort to protect himself, his family and staff from the virus. These included masking, vaccines, remote meetings and driving instead of flying between Washington, D.C., and Maine, until just recently.

King said he was feeling feverish Wednesday and had a COVID-19 test at the suggestion of his doctor.

“While I am not feeling great, I’m definitely feeling much better than I would have without the vaccine,” King said. “I am taking this diagnosis very seriously, quarantining myself at home and telling the few people I’ve been in contact with to get tested in order to limit any further spread.”

Maine’s other U.S. senator, Republican Susan Collins, wished King a rapid recovery.

“I am so sorry to learn that Angus has contracted COVID.  I have been in touch to wish him a speedy recovery,” Collins said in a statement issued by her office.

Two other senators, Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, and John Hickenlooper, a Democrat from Colorado, also announced Thursday that they had tested positive for the virus. At least 10 other Senators and about 60 members of the House of Representatives have reported positive tests since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the United States in January of 2020.

King urged others to remain vigilant and follow the guidance from health professionals. “… And get vaccinated if you haven’t been,” King said in a prepared statement.

“While Maine people and Americans are ready to move past COVID-19 and return to our normal routines, the virus is not done with us yet,” King said. “We must all continue to look out for one another through our words and actions, and remain united against this dangerous disease.”

The Senate is in recess and King flew back to Maine last week. He is now isolating in Maine and nobody else in his household has tested positive for the virus.

King’s staff said he was vaccinated with one of the two-dose vaccines in January, along with about 500 other federal elected officials, but they were unsure whether it was the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Matthew Felling, a spokesman for King, said he was resting and not taking calls from the media on Thursday. Felling said the staff is trying to retrace King’s steps but aren’t sure where he may have been exposed to the virus.

King has not had any interactions with other members of Maine’s congressional delegation since Aug. 10 when he was on the Senate floor and may have spoken to Collins, Felling said.

While vaccinated individuals can still contract COVID-19, they are far less likely to require hospitalization or die from the illness, as the vaccines help a person’s immune system more effectively recognize and fight off the virus. Vaccinated individuals also are far less likely to experience severe symptoms, but the delta variant, which is far more easily transmissible, is making the spread of the virus  more difficult to prevent.

The most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the majority of new COVID-19 infections are among those who have not been vaccinated, but breakthrough infections among vaccinated people are increasing as the pool of those who have been inoculated continues to grow.

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