Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan tests positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated

Taylor Avery

Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated earlier this year, according to a release from his office Monday.

The Republican is quarantining at home after experiencing “mild flu-like symptoms,” according to the release.

“I look forward to returning to work as soon as possible,” said Buchanan in the release. “In the meantime, this should serve as a reminder that although the vaccines provide a very high-degree of protection, we must remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.”

Masks had become mostly a thing of the past on Capitol Hill in early June when the House revised its rules after most of its body became vaccinated.

Staffers, lawmakers and reporters alike shed the face coverings.

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., speaks during a campaign event in Sarasota, Florida in October 2020. Buchanan says he's tested positive for the COVID-19 virus even though he was fully vaccinated against the disease. Buchanan, a Republican who represents a Sarasota-based district, said in a news release Monday, he got the test recently after experiencing “very mild flu-like symptoms.”

However, more staffers and officers were masked up than usual Monday in the Capitol. Over the weekend, news broke that five Texas state lawmakers, who have been in D.C. lobbying members of Congress on Capitol Hill, tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said all 60 lawmakers were vaccinated, including those who tested positive. 

A member of Buchanan’s staff died of COVID-19 nearly a year ago, in July 2020. Gary Tibbets, who had worked with the congressman since 2011, was the first known congressional aide known to have died of the virus.

Contributing: Savannah Behrmann