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U.S. Rep. Mike Bost feels fine after COVID diagnosis, but his wife is still ill

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U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, says he's feeling fine a week after testing positive for COVID-19, but his wife is still suffering from the virus and pneumonia.

Tracy Bost, 57, is at home after being treated at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Bost said Thursday. The focus is keeping her oxygen levels up, he added.

Their daughter, Kasey Fred, who is a nurse, also tested positive for coronavirus. All are quarantining outside of necessary medical trips. None of Bost's staff who were exposed have tested positive for the virus, but are still in quarantine and working remotely.

"It just happens. We're trying to figure out where we would have gotten it," Bost said.

Bost, 59, and his wife were in Washington, D.C., recently and attended a Sept. 26 march organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association where "tens of thousands" gathered, according to the association. He later returned to southern Illinois and was traveling around the region for his reelection campaign until he started noticing COVID-like symptoms.

The representative and his wife noticed what they thought were allergies early last week. On Oct. 7, the representative lost his senses of taste and smell. The next day he received a positive COVID-19 result after getting tested at a site in Carbondale. His senses had partially returned as of Thursday.

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Bost's quarantine period will end on Oct. 19 at the earliest, he said.

Illinois reported a record daily number of coronavirus cases Thursday. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,015 new confirmed cases of the virus, marking the highest daily amount since the pandemic began in March. IDPH reported 53 additional deaths statewide.

Bost faces Democratic challenger Ray Lenzi in the Nov. 3 General Election.

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"Despite taking my temperature regularly and having no evidence of a fever, I experienced a mild cough and a rapid loss of both taste and smell and recognized it was important to get tested immediately," the lawmaker from Southern Illinois said.

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