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

Gov. Northam is experiencing no symptoms but his wife has mild symptoms. The Governor says "most importantly, for your fellow Virginians—is to take this seriously."

RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for COVID-19, according to his office.

In a news release, the Governor and the First Lady were notified Wednesday night that a member of his official residence staff that works closely within their living quarters had tested positive for the virus.

Gov. Northam and the First Lady took a PCR nasal swab test Thursday and both tested positive.

The Governor was experiencing no symptoms Friday. The First Lady was experiencing mild symptoms. 

His officer said both remained in good spirits.

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

“The safety and health of our staff and close contacts is of utmost importance to Pam and me, and we are working closely with the Department of Health to ensure that everyone is well taken care of. 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.” 

Northam was in Hampton Tuesday morning for a groundbreaking event for an unmanned systems center owned by Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Beci Brenton, A spokesperson for the company, said their only employee to be in close proximity to Northam at the event was Technical Solution President Andy Green.

"We are saddened to hear that the Governor has tested positive," she wrote. "While with the Governor, Mr. Green wore an appropriate face covering and maintained social distance. Mr. Green is being tested today and is self-quarantining."

Credit: Huntington Ingalls Industries
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam joined HII and other Commonwealth and local officials to break ground at HII’s new Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence. Pictured, from left to right: Robert Brown, president of Robert Brown & Associates; Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck; Governor Ralph Northam; Andy Green, president of HII’s Technical Solutions; and Commerce and Trade Secretary Brian Ball.

RELATED: Huntington Ingalls opening unmanned systems center in Hampton, bringing more than 250 jobs with it

Mayor Donnie Tuck and other local and state officials were also at the groundbreaking. Tuck told 13News Now they were all standing in close proximity with the governor. The mayor said he, and the Hampton city council, plan to get tested.

"I think I'm fine, but at the same time I can't give myself a pass if we're telling other individuals who think they may have been exposed to get tested," Tuck said. "I have not been around that many people, however, I have been around my fellow council members and office staff. Even today, I had to take a temperature scan to get into this event at Hampton university and that was fine."

Tuck said he doesn't feel any symptoms, but wanted to err on the side of caution.

The Governor and First Lady will isolate for the next 10 days and evaluate their symptoms. 

The Governor is in constant contact with his cabinet and staff and will fulfill his duties from the Executive Mansion.