Illinois governor self-isolates for second time after exposure


Photo Courtesy of E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune

Governor J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press conference at the James R. Thompson Center on Sept. 22. Pritzker is isolating for a second time after another staffer tested positive for coronavirus.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker entered self-isolation for the second time after attending an event with a COVID-positive staff member, his office said Tuesday.

The staff member tested negative last Wednesday, but after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the staffer was tested again on Monday and the results came back positive.

The staff member attended three of the governor’s events in the previous week, including one on Sunday, Pritzker’s office said. However, his office said Pritzker and the staffer wore masks during every interaction.

Pritzker and all of his “close contacts” are quarantining for 14 days.

Pritzker has had a few documented close calls with COVID-positive folks. He first self-isolated for two weeks in May when a different member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.

This COVID-positive staff member was asymptomatic and was in close contact with Pritzker and a few other employees. The governor tested negative afterward.

Pritzker tested negative again after attending an event with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who had then contracted COVID-19.

Just like his first period of isolation, Pritzker plans to give his regular coronavirus briefings from home until his isolation period ends and he’s cleared to return, his office said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Illinois health officials announced another 1,362 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths statewide. On Tuesday, confirmed cases stood at 291,001, while Illinois’ virus death toll sat at 8,637 since the pandemic began.


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