Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that he and his wife, First Lady Pamela Northam, tested positive for COVID-19. The Northams received testing after learning that one of the governor’s staff members tested positive.
Northam reports that he is asymptomatic; his wife is experiencing “mild symptoms.” The pair plan to isolate for ten days and then undergo another examination, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines.
“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious. The safety and health of our staff and close contacts is of the 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,” stated the governor in his press release. “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.”
The governor doesn’t plan to stop his work at this time. Northam also plans to facilitate contact tracing to notify all individuals potentially exposed to the virus.
According to a recent poll by the Virginia Commonwealth University, 66 percent of Virginians don’t support mandatory vaccinations for the coronavirus. 40 percent of Virginians reported they wouldn’t get vaccinated. However, over half of Virginians believe it’s unsafe for children to return to in-person schooling.
Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) stated that the vaccine’s effectiveness relies on more than 60 percent of Virginians receiving it.
Current VDH guidelines recommend self-isolation from other people and pets for around 10-12 days; 10 days being the minimum for asymptomatic individuals. Close contact exposure is classified as breaking a distance of six feet for a minimum of 15 minutes, as well as being coughed or sneezed on. Local health departments in the area are offering assistance with food and medication for those in need during quarantine.
Around 108 federal, state, and local political leaders have been infected by the coronavirus, according to Ballotpedia.
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