Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures duding a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va.(AP Photo/Steve Helber) Ralph Northam
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures duding a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Governor and his wife are now in quarantine after positive tests

RICHMOND-Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and his wife Pamela are both in isolation this morning, after testing positive for COVID-19. 

Health officials notified the couple Wednesday night that a member of their residence staff had the virus. This staff member, who worked in the couple’s living quarters, showed symptoms this week and was immediately tested. Health officials tested the governor and first lady Thursday afternoon. Soon after, results confirmed they also had the virus. As of this morning, the governor’s staff says he is asymptomatic, while First Lady Pamela Northam is experiencing mild symptoms. 

The couple will isolate for 10 days in the Executive Mansion and then evaluate their symptoms. 

“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” said Governor Northam in a statement to media. “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’s staff said the couple are working with the Richmond Health Department to trace who they’ve been in contact with. The Executive Mansion and Patrick Henry office building will both be closed to the public today, as they undergo a deep cleaning. The governor plans to work remotely from the Executive Mansion for the foreseeable future. 

Overall Numbers Are Dropping

The news comes right as the state’s overall COVID-19 situation appears to be improving. Less than 6% of tests came back positive over the last seven days. By comparison, last month, the state reported a 7.7% positive rate. The number was even higher at the beginning of the pandemic at over 20%. 

Since symptoms take up to two weeks to show, we’re seeing now how Virginia looked at the beginning of September. Still, for the first time in a month, Virginia’s seven-day new case average dropped below 900 this week. It now stands at 890.