Rep. Vern Buchanan quarantining after COVID-19 diagnosis

Vern Buchanan (FOX 13 file)

Congressman Vern Buchanan is taking some time off after being diagnosed with COVID-19, a spokesperson said Monday.

According to a brief statement from his office, the Sarasota congressman tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing "very mild flu-like symptoms."  He’ll be quarantining at home until he recovers.

Buchanan says he was vaccinated earlier this year.

The 70-year-old represents Florida’s 16th Congressional District, which includes much of Sarasota, all of Manatee County, and southern Hillsborough County.

"I look forward to returning to work as soon as possible," he said in the statement about the diagnosis. "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."

The most recent COVID-19 stats for Florida, show a large spike in cases and a jump in the positivity rate. According to Friday’s numbers, the statewide cases have tripled in the last three weeks and the positivity rate for new tests was over 13 percent.