Gov. Edwards says one of his staffers has tested positive for COVID-19; several others quarantined

LATEST number of COVID-19 cases, deaths in Louisiana, as of 12 p.m. Thursday, July 2, 2020

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced Thursday, July 2 one of his staffers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, July 1.

Edwards says the individual is currently asymptomatic and will be in self-quarantine for 14 days, as well as, other staff members who had close contact with the infected person.

The governor says the staffer who tested positive for COVID-19 was recently at a media briefing and other internal meetings at the Louisiana State Capitol.

The 12 other staff members who epidemiologists consider to have had “close contact” with the individual at the capitol were notified of their exposure on Wednesday night and advised to self-quarantine, Edwards said.

The governor’s office says it will monitor those who are in self-quarantine and will offer testing and support where appropriate.

If other staffers test positive, Edwards says additional people may be advised to self-quarantine. Edwards says his office will complete contact tracing so that all individuals that had close contact with the staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 will be so advised, asked to self-quarantine, and tested if appropriate.

Gov. Edwards says after speaking with epidemiologists, he is not currently considered a close contact COVID-19 positive staffer. Close contacts are those who likely had exposure within six feet of a person who is infected for at least fifteen minutes.

Gov. Edwards issued the following statement Thursday morning:

“Throughout this crisis, I have pledged transparency with the public, which is why I am disclosing today that a member of my team, who works in the State Capitol, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. So far, this person is asymptomatic and will be in self-quarantine, as will a dozen members of my staff, in alignment with the recommendations of the Louisiana Department of Health. Anyone in our circle that we believe had close contact with this person was notified on Wednesday night and advised to self-quarantine.”

“We are monitoring our team and, should it become necessary, will be offering testing to our staff members and tracing their contacts to determine who needs to self-quarantine and who could be at risk. The coronavirus has already had a devastating impact on my team, as we lost April Dunn just three months ago, and we are working hard to protect others from this illness. Our staff takes precautions, including wearing masks, to protect each other, and we are hopeful that by aggressively self-quarantining, and working remotely, we can reduce the likelihood that anyone else will be exposed. I am deeply grateful that this person did the right thing and quickly notified us so that we could take swift action.”

“As I have said over and over again, COVID-19 is alive and well in Louisiana, and all of the people of our state need to take this illness very seriously. Please wear a mask when you are in public, stay home if you feel sick or have been directly exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19, wash your hands frequently and keep at least six feet of social distance from other people when you are in public.”

“I am praying for the health and safety of all those who have tested positive for COVID-19, that they will recover quickly without great suffering. I am also praying that the people of Louisiana will take this illness seriously and redouble their efforts to slow the spread and prevent others from becoming sick.

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