coronavirus illinois

Member of Governor's Office Staff Tests Positive for COVID-19, Pritzker Says

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a March 19, 2020, news conference in Chicago.
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

A member of the governor’s office staff learned Tuesday morning they had tested positive for COVID-19, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced at his daily coronavirus press briefing.

According to the governor, the employee is self-isolating at home, and is “doing well,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said the employee began to feel symptoms of the disease on March 26, and was immediately sent home. All other employees in the governor’s office were also sent home as a precautionary measure, and the facility was deep-cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines.

In-office staff had already been reduced as a result of the virus prior to the employee experiencing symptoms, but staffing numbers were further reduced after the individual was sent home, Pritzker said. Temperature checks are being performed on all employees when they report to work, and many employees have been assigned to work-from-home when possible.

No other employees that were in the office on the day the staffer was sent home have experienced symptoms, according to Pritzker.

The governor hopes to use the experience as a teaching moment for Illinois residents, saying that even those individuals who are most cautious about the virus can still contract symptoms if they come in contact with other people.

“It should be a cautionary tale that even among those who are most attentive, it is still possible to get the virus if you leave home and interact with others,” Pritzker said. “Let this just affirm what we already know: nobody is immune.”

The governor said that he did not come in regular contact with the employee, and has not been tested in the aftermath of the employee's positive test.

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