Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, Pamela, have tested positive for COVID-19, the governor’s office said Friday.
The Democratic governor and first lady received nasal swab tests Thursday afternoon after learning a staff member who works in their living quarters became infected with the virus, his office said.
Northam is currently asymptomatic, while his wife is experiencing mild symptoms, the office said.
The governor will continue his work remotely as the couple follows state health guidelines and quarantines for the next 10 days, Northam said.
Meanwhile, the governor’s executive mansion and offices will be closed Friday to undergo a deep cleaning.
“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” Northam said in a statement.
“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. 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’s career was nearly derailed last year when a photo emerged from his 1984 yearbook page of a person dressed like a Ku Klux Klansman standing next to a person in blackface.
He initially admitted he was the one wearing blackface, but later backtracked, claiming it wasn’t him. However, he copped to once putting on blackface for a Michael Jackson costume.
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