March 6, 2020 Atlanta - President Donald Trump is greeted by Rep. Doug Collins at Dobbins Air Reserve Base after the president's trip to tornado-ravaged Tennessee on Friday, March 6, 2020. President Donald Trump visited the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday after all, after initially scrapping the trip over concerns that a staffer at the agency had contracted the coronavirus. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Doug Collins to ‘self-quarantine’ after interacting with someone with coronavirus

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins said Monday that he was placing himself in “self-quarantine” following his exposure to someone who was infected with the disease caused by the coronavirus at a recent gathering of conservative activists. 

The Gainesville congressman was in close contact with President Donald Trump and other Republican officials during a Friday visit to Atlanta, and he said through an aide that he’s notified the White House, Gov. Brian Kemp and others about his exposure.

Collins said Monday that he was told by Conservative Political Action Conference officials that they discovered a photo of him with a participant who had tested positive for the coronavirus. 

In a statement, Collins said he feels “completely healthy” and isn’t experiencing any symptoms, but that he’s “decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution.” That period is set to end Friday.

Collins, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler in November, shook hands with the president on Friday, when he joined Trump for a tour of the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And he was in close quarters with Loeffler, Kemp, U.S. Sen. David Perdue and others throughout the visit. 

He’s the latest elected official to “self-quarantine” because of the disease. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar both took similar steps after coming into contact with the same individual at the CPAC conference, which ran Feb. 26-29. 

At a press conference Monday, Kemp told reporters he was not concerned about contracting the disease from Collins. 

“The only symptom I have is lack of sleep,” he said. 

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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