MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm are in quarantine after a member of the governor’s staff tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the governor’s office, the staff member tested positive on Wednesday morning after being tested on Tuesday.
Walz, Flanagan and Malcolm will quarantine through March 25. They were not within six feet of the staff member for more than 15 minutes, but they were in the same room as the staff member for the duration of a press conference Monday.
“Governor Walz has not yet been vaccinated. Lieutenant Governor Flanagan has only received one of two required Moderna doses. Commissioner Malcolm has received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine but is still within the 14 day waiting period,” the governor’s office said.
The State of the State address will be postponed until Walz has completed quarantine.
Walz's office doesn't believe this staffer had prolonged contact (w/in six feet >15min) w/ press. Quarantine out of caution. https://t.co/f6L7ySYcmP
— Caroline Cummings (@CaroRCummings) March 17, 2021
Here’s the statement from the governor’s office:
“A member of Governor Walz’s staff tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday morning after being tested on Tuesday. While Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm were not within six feet of the staff member for more than 15 minutes, they were in the same room as the staff member for the duration of a press conference on Monday.”
“The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Commissioner will quarantine through March 25, which is 10 days since the time of exposure per CDC guidance. The Governor will postpone the State of the State address until he has completed quarantine. In the meantime, Governor Walz looks forward to communicating with Minnesotans virtually.”
“Governor Walz has not yet been vaccinated. Lieutenant Governor Flanagan has only received one of two required Moderna doses. Commissioner Malcolm has received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine but is still within the 14 day waiting period. The Governor hopes this serves as an important reminder for Minnesotans that, while we are close to the end of the pandemic, we must continue to take COVID-19 seriously. Wear a mask, social distance, get tested, and sign up to get vaccinated.”
Later on, Wednesday Gov. Walz posted a brief video on Twitter reminding Minnesotans to continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines and safety measures.
I’ll be working remotely for a while, as I follow CDC guidance to quarantine. I hope this is a reminder that COVID is still spreading, and it’s still important to get tested. Stay safe, Minnesota! pic.twitter.com/sEsXtmQ9x0
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) March 17, 2021
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar also released a brief statement stating she did not get within six feet of the infected staff member for more than 15 minutes. Per guidelines from the Office of Attending Physician, she will not be quarantined.
This is a developing story, so check back for more.
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