U.S. Rep. Tom Rice and family are recovering from COVID-19

A second member of South Carolina’s congressional delegation has contracted COVID-19.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice announced Monday in a Facebook post that he, his wife and his son were recovering from the disease.

“I was lucky, and it was not bad for me,” Rice wrote. “I had a low fever and a mild cough. It was gone by Thursday. I never stopped eating or drinking or working or moving.”

Rice wrote that he had lost his senses of taste and smell, adding that he could not taste bacon.

U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, wished Rice and his family a speedy recovery on Twitter.

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in South Carolina. As of Monday afternoon, the state reported 582 new cases and 2 additional deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 19,378 and the total number of deaths to 602.

Cases are rising in nearly half the states, according to an Associated Press analysis, a worrying trend that could intensify as people return to work and venture out during the summer.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that COVID-19 is known to spread through droplets in the air.

A simple conversation can produce thousands of oral fluid droplets that can be dispersed to a fairly large radius and can linger in the air for up to 14 minutes, and in some instances even longer, researchers suggested in a recent study that may help answer key questions regarding the high transmissibility of the novel coronavirus.

According to the report, which was first published in the peer-reviewed journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” in May, it is commonly known that respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 can spread through droplets that are produced from coughing or sneezing.

With social distancing still the best known weapon for containing the the virus, several studies have been conducted regarding the transmission of respiratory droplets. The findings from the studies have prompted the CDC to recommended that people keep a minimum of 6 feet apart from someone who may be sick with COVID-19. The CDC has also urged Americans to wear masks while in public.

One study conducted by researchers at MIT in March warned that droplets of the novel coronavirus could travel as far as 27 feet.

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The CDC released its coronavirus safety guidelines June 12, along with a second set for organizing and attending big gatherings such as concerts, sporting events, protests and political rallies as states reopen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the guidance, the CDC encourages people to call ahead to restaurants and nail salons to make sure staff are wearing face coverings. The CDC's director, Dr. Robert Redfield, called his agency's new guidelines “common sense suggestions.”State or local governments may want to reimpose stricter measures if new outbreaks occur, but that's a call for them to make, CDC officials said.

The CDC offers a list of questions people should consider before going out, and some things to think about in particular situations. The guidelines also repeated earlier advice about wearing face coverings, especially if it’s difficult to keep at least 6 feet away from other people. The guidelines also encourage washing hands for 20 seconds and staying home as much as possible.

The Associated contributed to this report.