U.S. Rep. Jody Hice quarantining after possible coronavirus exposure

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R- Monroe. File photo.

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R- Monroe. File photo.

Georgia Congressman Jody Hice announced Thursday that he is in a two-week quarantine as a precaution after spending time in the vicinity of a colleague who is being treated for symptoms of COVID-19.

“I’m feeling fine and I haven’t experienced any symptoms but, after consulting with medical professionals, I will be taking precautionary steps to work remotely and social distance from folks for the next two weeks,” Hice, a Republican from Monroe, said in a news release. “I wish everyone a speedy recovery, and I look forward to seeing them in person in 15 days.”

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a friend and colleague of Hice’s, announced Wednesday he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus after experiencing symptoms. Hice said he was also in recent contact with a second person who tested positive for COVID-19.

Shortly after Gohmert’s illness was announced, Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued an order requiring masks to be worn in the House chambers and all meeting rooms. Some Republican members, including Gohmert, of Texas, had resisted donning masks for committee hearings and votes. Pelosi’s order only applies to House office buildings and not the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol.

“The Members cannot come on to the Floor of the House unless they have a mask and I, as Speaker, have directed the Sergeant at Arms, the Capitol police to refuse exit-entry into the hall if people don’t have on a mask, and we have masks there for them,” Pelosi said during a CNN interview Wednesday night.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain died Thursday of coronavirus symptoms. He had been hospitalized in recent weeks after traveling to several places, including a President Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Okla.