Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, First Lady test positive for COVID-19

Updated: Sep. 25, 2020 at 1:45 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for coronavirus.

They were tested after a member of the Governor’s staff who works closely within the couple’s living quarters developed symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.

Both took nasal swab tests Thursday afternoon and tested positive. Governor Northam is experiencing no symptoms. First Lady Pamela Northam is currently experiencing mild symptoms. Both remain in good spirits.

Health experts say if the nation’s only doctor-governor can get it, we should not let our guards down to the virus.

“This is a reminder that this can happen to anyone," said Dr. Danny Avula, Richmond/Henrico Health Districts Director. "All of us continue to be in situations, I mean I’m here at the office today, and I think the reality is as safe as we think we’re being we can still have opportunities to be exposed.”

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 Governor is in constant contact with his cabinet and staff and will fulfill his duties from the Executive Mansion.

“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” said Governor Northam in a release. “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.”

The Governor and First Lady are working closely with VDH and the Richmond Health Department to trace their close contacts.

The Executive Mansion and Patrick Henry office building will be closed for deep cleaning this morning. The work of the Governor’s office continues remotely and uninterrupted.

“We can’t completely eliminate risk but we can do a lot of things to prevent the spread and to try to keep ourselves as safe as possible,” said Dr. Avula.

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