New Mexico governor self-isolates after staff gets virus

October 5, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this July 23, 2020, file photo, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives her weekly update on COVID-19 in New Mexico iin Santa Fe, N.M. (Eddie Moore/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)
FILE - In this July 23, 2020, file photo, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives her weekly update on COVID-19 in New Mexico iin Santa Fe, N.M. (Eddie Moore/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has tested negative for the coronavirus after a custodian at the governor’s mansion was diagnosed with COVID-19. The governor is self-quarantining for a two-week period as an extra precaution in accordance with state guidelines.

Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Sackett said Monday that a staff member at the governor’s official residence reported feeling unwell on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 1, and was immediately sent for a virus test that came out positive.

She said the governor was tested Friday with a negative result, and that 37 people who were potentially in the presence of the infected worker have been tested without any positive returned test results. A second round of testing for the governor and the others is scheduled for Wednesday.

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“The governor did not come into personal contact with the worker who tested positive,” the governor’s office said in a news release. “State health officials deemed testing prudent out of an abundance of caution.”

Much of the governor’s work already was being carried out remotely, though she typically delivered weekly virus updates by video feed from a legislative hearing room at the Statehouse.

“We have all seen how quickly COVID-19 can spread, not least in the high-profile example this week provided by the White House,” said Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, in a statement. “I am not willing to risk the health or safety of my staff or any New Mexican, and therefore I will continue to quarantine until such time as it can be determined with 100% certainty that I am not carrying the virus.”

State health officials reported 158 newly confirmed infections statewide on Monday, with two related fatalities that bring the death toll from the pandemic in New Mexico to 894.

At public schools, 14 staff members and three students tested positive, the Public Education Department announced.

the governor, her fiancé and more than 30 officials