Gov. Pritzker in isolation after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

BySarah Schulte and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Gov. Pritzker in isolation after staff member tests positive for COVID-19
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is self-isolating for 14 days after a member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For the second time, Governor JB Pritzker will self isolate for 14 days after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the governor's office, the staffer had close contact with Pritzker after attending events last week and most recently on Sunday.

"This is exactly what we expect most people to do if they find out that one of their close contacts that has tested positive for covid, it's rather high risk, medium to high risk in this case," said Dr. Emily Landon, UChicago Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist.

Landon added that the exposure was a medium risk because, according to the governor, he and the staffer were both wearing masks during their interactions.

"The likelihood is good that everyone's going to be fine in this scenario because masks are extremely effective," she said.

The governor's staff is tested weekly. The person tested negative last Wednesday, but positive Monday after developing symptoms.

"This is why you have to be really careful as thinking a negative test is a free pass, that we're totally good," Landon said. "In fact, the time limit for how you can count on a negative test is pretty short."

While the governor and close contacts quarantine for the next 2 weeks, other staff members cannot return to work until they test negative.

The office also undergoes a weekly deep cleaning. An additional deep cleaning was performed Monday night.