District 7 Rep. Chris Welch isolating after contracting COVID-19 within family circle

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois State Representative Emanuel Chris Welch is isolating at home after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Hillside Democrat said his symptoms are minor.

"I woke up Wednesday with a scratchy throat," said the 7th District representative.

He shared the news on Twitter when he found out the results of his coronavirus test.

"I will be here for the next 14 days, monitoring my symptoms constantly," he said.

Welch, who is leading the Madigan investigation, said he has stayed within his family circle, but still got sick.

"We were able to do some tracing and it looks like it was within our circle. A couple of family members also tested positive," Welch said.

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Welch represents the 7th district, which encompasses the western suburbs.

"There were a couple of hot spots right here in the district," he added.

COVID-19 tracker data shows those areas have seen spikes in cases.

"I have had two of my mayors actually test positive for COVID," Welch said. "I serve 12 west suburban communities; Forest Park's mayor tested positive [and] Melrose Park's mayor too. "

Right now, the statewide positivity rate still sitting just above 12%.

Dr. Bala Hota, an infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center said there is still significant spread in the community.

"We are concerned that December is going to be even worse than April, and April was enormous," Dr. Hota said.

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While he battles the virus himself, Welch reminds people to stay vigilant.

"Thankfully there is a vaccine on the horizon," he said. "If we all do our part, we will be able to get back to eating out at restaurants, seeing each other, and doing the things that we all love to do sooner rather than later."

Welch said he will take another coronavirus test in the next week. If all goes well, he will be re-tested on Dec. 9 and proceed with the Madigan hearing on Dec. 14.
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