Rep. Michelle Steel tests positive for coronavirus after questioning need for mask mandate in Orange County

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Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel participates in a press conference in Santa Ana, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2020. (Paul Bersebach/The Orange County Register via AP)

Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel participates in a press conference in Santa Ana, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2020. (Paul Bersebach/The Orange County Register via AP)

California Rep. Michelle Steel has tested positive for coronavirus, her office announced Wednesday.

The newly elected Orange County, California, Republican said in a statement that she learned she had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Steel, 65, said she had no symptoms but had a test out of an abundance of caution. It came back positive for the virus.

She said she will quarantine, at the advice of her doctor and to protect the health of her colleagues in the House.

Steel — who previously headed the Orange County Board of Supervisors — defeated Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda in November.

Last spring Steel questioned the need for a countywide mask mandate. But she later changed course and endorsed face coverings in public.

In November, Steel joined Washington state’s Marilyn Strickland and California Rep. Young Kim as the first Korean American women elected to Congress.

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