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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and first lady test positive for COVID-19

Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam said Friday that he and the state’s first lady have tested positive for COVID-19. Northam said he is asymptomatic and that his wife Pam’s symptoms are mild. 

“We will isolate at home for 10 days and then reevaluate our symptoms,” he tweeted. “I am in constant contact with my cabinet and staff, and will continue working from the Executive Mansion.”

The couple was notified Wednesday that a member of their official residence staff had developed coronavirus symptoms and tested positive. They were then tested for the virus, which has infected nearly 7 million Americans and killed more than 200,000, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. 

“As I have been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, #COVID19 is very real and very contagious,” Northam tweeted.

“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 virus seriously.”

The announcement came hours before President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Newport News, which is expected to violate an executive order that generally bans gatherings in the state that are larger than 250 people, the Associated Press reported. 

It also comes just two days after Missouri’s Republican Governor Mike Parson said he and first lady Teresa Parson tested positive for the virus. The governor said he had not shown any symptoms and his wife’s symptoms were mild.

“I want everybody to know that myself and the first lady are both fine,” the 65-year-old Parson said in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, also tested positive for COVID-19 back in July – making him the first governor in the U.S. to say he had become infected.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced in August that he tested positive — but hours later said a second test came back negative. 

Contributing: Victoria Albert

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