HARTFORD (AP) - Gov. Ned Lamont is self-quarantining after his chief spokesperson tested positive for COVID-19, his administration announced late Friday.
The Democratic governor's chief spokesperson, Max Reiss, identified himself as the senior staff member who had tested positive, in a release posted to Twitter. An initial news release from the governor's office didn't identify the staff member, but said that it was the first known case of the coronavirus in the governor's office.
Reiss wrote he wasn't sure how or where he contracted the virus, but added that his family had been self-quarantining after his children were exposed at school. He said none of his family was experiencing symptoms, but they will quarantine for the next two weeks.
Contact tracing has begun and all members of the administration who have been within 6 feet (2 meters) of Reiss for 15 minutes or more will self-quarantine for 14 days. In addition to Lamont, chief of staff Paul Mounds and chief operating officer Josh Geballe will self-quarantine, the release from the governor’s office said. Reiss also encouraged journalists who had contact with him under those same parameters in the last 24 hours to “take the necessary steps.”
Lamont and senior staff are tested twice a week, the release from the governor's office said, and there are no known additional positive cases.
“While this is the first case within our administration, tens of thousands of Connecticut residents have experienced COVID-19, and thousands of others have lost their lives,“ the release quoted Mounds as saying. ”Even in an administration with consistent testing of all individuals who interact with the governor on a regular basis and wear masks at all times, this is a reminder that no testing regimen is full-proof.”
Three U.S. governors - Republicans Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma and Mike Parson of Missouri and Democrat Ralph Northam of Virginia - had COVID-19 earlier this year. Another governor, Democrat Steve Sisolak of Nevada, announced Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19.