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Huizenga confirmed positive for coronavirus

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga was confirmed positive for COVID-19 after undergoing a second, more conclusive test for the virus, he said Thursday. 

Huizenga, a Zeeland Republican, is the first member of Congress from Michigan known to test positive for the coronavirus. 

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland -- File photo

He initially tested positive after taking a rapid test for COVID-19 as part of the screening ahead of Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Grand Rapids on Wednesday. 

"I have received my results from the PCR test confirming that I am positive for COVID," Huizenga tweeted Thursday morning. 

"I will continue to self-isolate through the duration and serve the people of West Michigan. Thank you to the medical professionals who deal with these cases on a daily basis."

Huizenga also thanked those who have reached out, saying he would "continue to keep West Michigan updated on the status of my recovery."

The congressman told The Detroit News on Wednesday that he felt "fine" but was glad that Pence's protocols worked "for everybody’s sake." 

Huizenga's test result means he will have to miss a visit to his district Saturday by President Donald Trump, who is set to rally supporters in Muskegon. 

He also had to back out of an in-person debate that had been set for Wednesday night with his opponent, Democrat Bryan Berghoef. Berghoef took to Twitter to complain that Huizenga had felt well enough to do TV interviews last night after the debate was canceled. 

"RT if you think someone who has 'no symptoms' and is 'just staying home' should be able to do a virtual debate," Berghoef tweeted.

He added separately: "Let me also say: we continue to pray for Bill’s health, upon hearing the news of a second confirmed positive test."

mburke@detroitnews.com