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

Ralph Northam

Gov. Ralph Northam votes in person at the Richmond general registrar’s office. Photo courtesy the Office of the Governor.

Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, the governor is experiencing no symptoms, and the First Lady is experiencing mild symptoms.

“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” Gov. Northam said. “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 news comes as Virginia has been seeing a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases over the past week.

According to the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, the seven-day moving average of new cases is at 819 today, down 18.8 percent from the recent high of 1,009 back on Sept. 18, and down more sharply – 31.6 percent – from the Aug. 8 high of 1,198.

The number of Virginia hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients dipped below 1,000 on Sept. 17, and today is at 965, representing 5.6 percent of the state’s 16,476-patient capacity.

The Friday governor’s office news release reported that the First Couple was notified on Wednesday evening that a member of the official residence staff, who works closely within the living quarters at the Executive Mansion, had developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

The Northams each received PCR nasal swab tests Thursday afternoon, and both tested positive.

Consistent with guidelines from the VDH, they will isolate for the next 10 days and evaluate their symptoms.

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.

With reporting by Chris Graham


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