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Gov. Northam, first lady test positive for COVID-19

Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, first lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for COVID-19.

On the evening of Sept. 23, the Northams “were notified that a member of the governor’s official residence staff, who works closely within the couple’s living quarters, had developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19,” Northam’s office said in a Sept. 25 statement.

The governor and his wife received nasal swab tests the next day, on the afternoon of Sept. 24. Both tested positive. The statement said Gov. Northam currently has no symptoms, while Pam Northam is experiencing mild symptoms. “Both remain in good spirits,” the statement said.

“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” said Gov. Northam. “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 the Virginia Department of Health and the Richmond Health Department to trace their close contacts. And in accordance with guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health, the governor and first lady will isolate for the next 10 days and evaluate their symptoms. Northam’s office said the governor is in “constant contact with his cabinet and staff and will fulfill his duties from the Executive Mansion.”

The governor’s executive mansion and the Patrick Henry office building will receive deep cleaning.

Northam is a physician who provides pediatric neurology care at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk. He received his medical education at Eastern Virginia Medical School, also in Norfolk and “is on leave of absence while he fulfills his responsibilities as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” according to his CHKD online profile.