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

Governor of Virginia tests positive for COVID-19

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that he and his wife, first lady Pamela Northam, have tested positive for COVID-19.

In a news release, officials said the governor had no symptoms of the viral infection while his wife had “mild symptoms.”

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

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The Northams took coronavirus tests Thursday after learning that a member of the governor’s official residence staff had tested positive for COVID-19. Following guidelines issued by the Virginia Department of Health, the couple plans to isolate for at least the next 10 days.

Officials said the executive mansion and Patrick Henry office building will be closed Friday for deep cleaning.

Northam is at least the third governor to test positive for COVID-19, following Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s diagnosis in July and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s positive test announced earlier this week.

As of Friday, more than 144,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Virginia, causing more than 3,000 deaths, according to the state health department.

The United States leads the world with the most coronavirus cases and the highest death toll. Since the start of the pandemic, officials have confirmed more than 6.9 million infections and reported more than 202,000 deaths nationwide, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 32.2 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide and more than 983,000 people have died of the viral infection, according to Johns Hopkins.