Virginia Gov. Northam Tests Positive for the Chinese Coronavirus

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures as he speaks to a group of volunteers to distribute supplies at health equity community event Tuesday, May 12, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
AP Photo/Steve Helber

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and First Lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus, they revealed Friday.

According to a statement, a member of the governor’s residence staff “who works closely within the couple’s living quarters” fell ill and tested positive for the virus. On Thursday, both the governor and first lady received a PCR nasal swab test, both of which came back positive. While the governor is currently asymptomatic, his wife is “currently experiencing mild symptoms,” according to the press release.

“Consistent with guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Governor and First Lady will isolate for the next 10 days and evaluate their symptoms,” the release states. “The Governor is in constant contact with his cabinet and staff and will fulfill his duties from the Executive Mansion.”

Northam released a statement, reminding Virginians the Wuhan virus is “very real and very contagious.”

“The safety and health of our staff and close contacts is of utmost importance to Pam and me, and we are working closely with the Department of Health to ensure that everyone is well taken care of,” he said.

“We are grateful for your thoughts and support, but the best thing you can do for us—and most importantly, for your fellow Virginians—is to take this seriously,” Northam added:

The news comes just hours ahead of President Trump’s Friday evening rally at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News, Virginia. A state public health official has warned the rally “poses a concerning public health risk” and would violate Northam’s coronavirus restrictions, including the ban on gatherings of over 250 people.

According to the AP, “Northam’s top health and transportation aides also sent letters Thursday to airport officials around the state reminding them that they have ‘the authority to enforce’ the state’s laws.”

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